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Why did you start Benzos?


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I'd love to hear from the board members why they started Benzos.  Was it a life issue?  What was the circumstance?  Or anxiety disorder?  If so, what was the diagnosis?  Panic disorder, PTSD, GAD, specific phobia, social phobia, OCD or whatever?  Myself, my diagnosis was OCD and panic and as I said in another post, my only chance of true recovery is to get off the benzos and practice what I have been taught.
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Let's make this open to everyone.  Short and sweet.  Botched surgeries....in the hospital a month, IVed with ativan and continued after.  Told it was non addictive...had anxiety, thinking it was me....probably was the benzo, but I continued.  Tried to quit.  Bad news.  Crossed over to valium...in final stages of taper.
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I think it was a general malaise, mild depression, sadness, and a kind of drug seeking mentality. Shoulda never done it. Life went downhill for the next 20 years.
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1 year ago, developed now-resolved restless legs syndrome due to iron depletion, leading to severe anxiety-related insomnia,  leading to suicidal ideation, leading to psych ward stay, where I was placed on the knock-out combo of Klonopin and seroquel. It worked beautifully. Briefly.
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[8e...]
About seven years ago for the treatment of restless legs due to Mirtazipine. However, they realized that Klonopin worked well for my generalized anxiety disorder that they decided to keep it as one of my main drugs. To this day, I am still on both - but almost off the Klonopin (thank God).
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Quit smoking, caused insomnia nervousness, degenerated into minor panic attacks, that worsened insomnia=bingo XANAX
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About 20 years ago I was put on Prozac for chronic depression.  That led to restless leg syndrome for which I was prescribed klonopin.  When I started needing more of it for same result, was switched to ativan which I am still on today.  Every time I tried to quit, the anxiety would get so bad that my script would be increased.  Made me the pudding pop I am today.  :crazy:
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Mine started when I was pregnant. I started having 6 or more FULL blown panic attacks a day, dp/dr, shaking, loss of appetite, dizziness constantly, and eventually agoraphobia.

After I had my daughter I had bad anxiety and ppd and they put me on lamictal and ativan. They obviously didnt realize that ativan can make depression worse  :tickedoff:.Since then they have also put me on effexor and abilify for depression and ocd.

That's how this all started.

Amanda 

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I was put on klonopin after having an anxiety attack due to extreme stress. They first gave me zoloft and xanax, but anxiety increased so was switched to klonopin (.50 3x/day). Eight weeks later, still had morning anxiousness, so tapered off the zoloft. I was like a walking zombie while taking klono so started tapering one week after quitting zoloft. Even at my current level of .3125 of klono, I have not experienced the anxiety I had when I was first put on these meds, only occasional slight anxiousness due to withdrawal.
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Had general anxiety and panic attacks 10 years ago, put on Klonopin and various anti-depressants and mood stabilizers.  Later, while on those meds, I was diagnosed with Manic Depression (Bi-Polar) and OCD.  The Klonopin was doubled when my, then, Fiance committed suicide 3 1/2 years ago.  W/D from Topamax and Luvox 15 months ago.  I never had Bi-Polar and never had OCD, misdiagnosed, put on unnecessary drugs.  I only had anxiety and depression.  After Benzo's I no longer have any Anxiety or Depression - FREE!
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I was prescribed Clonazepam as an anticonvulsant to treat myoclonic jerks (a symptom of my Brainstem Myoclonus). It worked for about a year, until I developed tolerance. I made a number of accelerated withdrawals (over about 6 weeks), I'd take a break for a couple of weeks (I'd actually have to take 0.5mg per day because otherwise my withdrawal symptoms were extremely severe), and then slowly reinstate back up to 4.5mg. I was having to perform this three-month taper-break-reinstatement routine once a year, and for limited results compared to my first year of use. The situation became untenable, so I quit for good, tapering over 6-months.
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1983, anxiety and depression.  Couldn't tolerate tricyclics, given "non-addictive" xanax 2m daily.  I was "non-addicted" for 12 years until I accepted my alcoholism and successfully rehab'ed off xanax 1995.  1999, depression returned (still get them in sobriety) w/ extreme anxiety.  Given Zoloft and Klonopin.  2 month tapered myself off Klonopin 2002.  Lost my job, father died, and marriage ended in 2 month time frame late 2004-early 2005.  Picked up Klonopin again late 2004 and drank early 2005.  Unsuccessful dietox (awful experience) from Klonopin but successful stopping alcohol 2005.  Stopped Zoloft 2007.  Tolerance got me to 6-8m Klonopin and attempted detox March 2008.  Began horrendous withdrawals and found this site and Ashton method early April 2008.  Stabilized on 2.5m, now at 1.5m w/ 4m Valium. 
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Had a high stress job, 2 small children (one was very ill), started building a custom home and hired the contractor from hell (a lot of second guessing and anger over that), then came the lawyers and all that goes with those bottom feeders. 

 

All this was coming to an end, I was a zombie and emotionally drained but it was almost over when a "friend" told me she knew someone who could "help" me. Her "friend" told me I was depressed etc. and introduced me to klonopin and prozac.  That was the beginning of 10 years of more drugs than I can remember.

 

I now refer to my ex-friend as "the pimp."  She sent so many people to that dr. (and screwed up more lives) that their should be a law against it.  At the time I didn't know anything about depression, anxiety and all the drugs, and I didn't know how to come off them.

 

The saying "Ignorance is bliss" is not true.

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started xanax about last june. i had had some anxiety and occasional panic attacks for 3 or 4 years. it all really stepped up a notch about this time last year. my wife takes .5 mg xanax for sleep, and i noticed symptoms would quit and i would feel really good if i took .5 mg. got a script for 1 mg daily, then up to 1.25, then 1.5, and up to 1.87 at highest. last fall, i quit drinking coffee and sodas, and elminiated all caffeine from my diet. i haven't had anxiety or panic attacks since. i have, however, had a heck of a time getting off this stuff. when i first started tapering from 1.87 last november, i was going .125mg per week. i got down to 1 mg early january, and hit a huge wall. i think i just went too fast as it was hard getting down, i felt bad all the time. this was right before a 2 week trip to see my dad. i panicked, and went back up to 1.75 mg. i stayed there for about a month, came back down to 1.5, then my dog died. went back up to 1.68 in march, then started my current taper late march. have come from 1.68 to 1.18 since about march 28. i feel better right now then i did on 1.87 per day. i am totally committed to doing it this time, no way will i ever go back up. even if i have to go sideways at times to get through bad spots, i am getting off this stuff, hopefully, by the end of the summer.
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  • 3 weeks later...
I quit taking prozac after 16 years c/t and my last living relative died, so former doctor put me on Xanax.  When I wanted to quit, he said "just quit".  Ended up in ER where they put me on Klonopin.  Found a doctor to switch me to valium and successfully tapered off with minimal w/d last fall.  Had a crisis and started drinking pretty heavily.  C/t booze in March and ended up in ER with DT's. Doctor put me back on low dose of valium so here I go again.  This time around is way, way worse than before.  Could still be having problems from c/t off the booze.  Not sure about anything anymore, just know I want off the benzo's, and won't drink again.
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Have had HPPD with pretty bad derealization and anxiety for 15 years due to a lot of LSD use/abuse. It faded away completely over the years. I was living a normal life, went to college, great job, enganged to a wonderful woman. In November 07 I starting getting pretty depressed, so ofcourse the Doc put me on prozac. Well, the Prozac kicked off the HPPD and derealization all over again. It felt like the onset of HPPD..I stayed on prozac for 9 days (doc was telling me to let it build up in my system) and then I stopped on the 9th day. Well I felt like I was in a full blown LSD trip basically. I knew it was HPPD comming back and triggered by the prozac. Went back to Doc at the first part of December of 07 and she perscribed me 0.5 3x a day of klonopin. Although I only took 1mg a day instead of the 1.5mg. This worked great for about a month and a half. Then I noticed it not really working anymore..I was getting anxiety really bad and DR really bad again. So I thought about upping the dose, and the Dr. suggested I up the dose. But I decided to taper off.  So with some trouble here and there, here I am at 0.5 and titrating down. Tomorrow will be 10% reduced from 0.5mg (whatever that dosage is)

 

 

 

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  • 4 years later...
November was told I had a mild stroke and an episode of menieres disease and sudden hearing loss in left ear from takng large dosages of ibuprophen daily for several weeks.  Was so confused about what was going on, and the doctors not being very specific with me, because I don't think they were sure,  because I was never referred to follow up with a neurologist after discharged and my current primary care is still puzzled why,  I know my blood pressure was extremely very high and the CT scan showed a pin head size bleed in my temporal lobe, was told it was very small.  Fortunately for me I did not have any residual damage with my speech or any paralysis of my limbs just the sudden hearing loss which is slowing starting to come back gradually.  All these things going on, I began to feel a lot of anxiety and fear and worry, so the doctor thought it was a good idea to give me clonazepam, not explainig what this medication was for, how long I should be on it, nothing about dependency or addiction, was never given a choice to deny it or accept it which I think was very unfair to me.  This why I say I am an accidental addiction. Now I am in the snare of the devil, battling a spiritual war to get off this stuff, because I feel this stuff is very spiritually evil.  Like Tony says on benzos.com it's like a beast that does not want to let go, and the devil will not give up without a fight, that is his nature.  But I will prevail! with my faith in my higher power that says there is no temptation taken you, but such as is common to man, but your higher power is faithful who will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able ,  but with the temptation of the devil will make a way for you to escape , that you may be able to bear it. Also know,  that if you RESIST THE DEVIL HE WILL FLEE FROM YOU! And that is my story of how I  got started on benzos.
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was on zopiclone (7.5mg) for 7 years. developed depression and anxiety (now know it was a result of the zopiclone but didn't then!)

 

GP put me on Lorazepam (Ativan?) 4mgs a day. Sent me psychotic.

Psychiatrist got involved, switched me to 20mgs of Diazepam (valium) per day.

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I was going through a couple of difficult life changes.  In retrospect, I probably would have not gone on them, had I known what I now know.  That is behind me.  Now I focus on the positive:  "What is positive about this?"

 

One of the positives is that I stopped drinking alcohol, as well as another major thing that has been helpful.

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