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"Relative Withdrawal" (anyone familiar with this) & my dilemma


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Anyone here familiar with "Relative Withdrawal," a term coined I think by Ashton and the former owner of this site if I remember correctly.  The idea is that you have reached a point where you are highly symptomatic no matter what you do, whether you continue cutting, hold for a long period, or increase your dose. This is considered to be different as I understand it than tolerance withdrawal. Symptoms can be severe in this situation even though you are still on the drug and tapering, even if at a snail's pace. Only way to get through is keep going, clearly. 

 

Wondering if anyone has experienced this type of withdrawal. With all the emphasis on the site about not going too fast and holding until you stabilize it is an interesting notion that some people, like myself, just might not have that as an option. I've previously experienced that the longer I held the worse I got (months).  It also makes it very difficult to use the body to read when to cut, when to hold...  While said to be rare, and I'm hoping to still find this is just a wall and there will be some way around it - I'd like to know if anyone else has had this experience with CT like symptoms that won't abate despite slow slow liquid tapering and/or holds....  And how, if you have, you found your way out.

 

I know in general here the advice is never to rush a taper or CT, but my experience does make me wonder why in the world I am still on this medication at all, and how much if at all I should just speed my taper up if symptoms are over the top anyway? On the other hand, despite my desperation there are some physical symptoms I don't have and I don't want to invite those by going too rapidly or doing a deliberate CT and then regretting that decision for months to come. 

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I did not get any relief for months after I reached 2 mgs V.  I kept reading about people 'waiting to stabilize' before taking another cut but that never happened for me.  I moved along at a snail's pace, just waiting for a glimpse of a small window...nope.  I took a non therapuetic dose until the end then just jumped. I am almost two months free.  I guess I don't see the point in my dragging it out so long and wish I had gotten it over and done with in a more timely manner.  I held on for a month when my sister died...then another month when I got shingles.  It didn't make any difference in the symptoms.  Now that I'm benzo free, some symptoms have gotten better but never disappear completely.  Others have appeared.  Most of mine are physical.  I really wonder if I held on too long as I added months to my recovery time.
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hey guys i am just wanting to say that i know how you feel. My sx of wd have been so bad and very simmilar to  ct but just go on even longer i think as i am tapering. I have tried a fast taper and that was horrible , now i am on a slow taper and that has not made one bit of difference every day is hell and i dont know what to do. I have sx daily that almost never subside and drive me insane. I truly feel like i ctd even though i havent. Have you all found wd very tough no matter what you do? I hardly eever have windows and worry it is just me. What sx do you guys have? Have they been more like those who cold turkey and have they been really severe? How long have you had these sx? I didnt even know about relative wd but now really question if i am experiencing this. Please tell me what wd has been like for you? And can we still heal even from this?
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I never quite understood the distinction between tolerance withdrawal and relative withdrawal and just considered myself in tolerance since I had pretty severe symptoms even before I started tapering.  I don't know if increasing my dose (again) would have helped because I had decided by then to get off them no matter what. Because I was pretty sure I wasn't going to start feeling better as I tapered - and thus know it was time to cut- I decided to use the "stabilized" criterion:  that I wasn't steadily feeling worse and worse.  I set up a schedule to cut basically every 2 weeks and with two exceptions, stuck to it.  Those exceptions came at the end when I tried holding longer to see if I could get any relief; when I didn't feel any different at all after 3 extra days, I just decided to get it over with.  It turns out Prof Ashton actually recommended this in her 2011 Update to her manual so I guess I did the right thing.  I do wonder if some people are suffering longer than they need to because of drawing their taper out so long, especially when they are titrating on on super-low doses.   :-\  I don't think the GABA system can fully heal until all the outside GABA suppression drugs are out of our bodies but, of course, I have no scientific evidence to back that up.   ::)
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From my understanding, tolerance withdrawal and relative withdrawal are the same thing;

 

http://www.benzobuddies.org/benzodiazepine-information/tolerance-addiction-dependency

 

 

Btw, Beeper. How long did it take you to heal after you last dose?

 

I'm down to .5 mgs of clon. I'm not sure if I should stick to the 10% rule or go a bit faster. I've been holding for a while.

 

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Beeper described how I felt. I have the unfortunate experience of doing this twice.  I did a long, slow valium taper last year.  No windows. After I jumped, it got worse, and after a month, I reinstated. 

This time, I did an inpatient detox. They put me on a 12-day valium taper. Incidentally, I only dosed once a day during my own taper. They dosed me 3 times a day for a few days, then 2 times a day at lesser doses, and then finally one time a day. When all was said and done, I didnt' feel any different after this fast taper than I did during my inital taper. So - at least for me, there was no difference in the way I FELT. (Physiologically there may have been a difference, but if so, I am not able to say what that was.) I crossed-over to valium from Klonopin, and in general, I'm not sure that my first taper and being on valium for 4 long months was a great idea for ME.  Everyone seems to be different. But there is a wikipedia article on "benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome" that states that for many people, doing a slow valium taper and holding until stabilization is beneficial -- it goes on to state that for some people, they simply don't feel better until getting off of the medication altogether. I believe I am one of those people.  I kinda inherently think that until my body is without the drug, healing doesn't happen.  Or perhaps that is just mental - and being "done" with it at least helps me hang on.  I'm not sure.  Hope this helps.  I definitely understand your question. I guess everyone has a different experience. :)Parker

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Parker,

 

When you say, "for some people, they simply don't feel better until getting off of the medication altogether. I believe I am one of those people.", I think I'm in the same boat.

 

When I went from 20mgs to 15mgs in 2 weeks, I went through a rough patch, lots of withdrawal symtoms.  I stablized and thought I would wait until November to renew the taper but instead I've been skipping a 2.5 dose during the day and find myself at 12.5mgs a week later.  Sure I have symptoms, I'm a bit hyper but it beats the constant queasiness of staying at the same dose.

 

I simply couldn't stomach staying at 15mgs and not going down in dose.  My brain and body crave less.  It's very natural.  I suspect I'll drop antoher 2.5mgs in early November and then slow down to smaller increments.  I'm not explaining this well because I do have symptoms, can't concentrate very well is one of them.  A little manic but less depressed - much less depressed.

 

My family has noticed a huge difference in me over the last 3 months when I tapered from 30mgs to where I'm at now.  They see continual improvement in mood and cognitive function.  What used to be a runaway train (my 3-ring circus of mind, body, and mixed metaphors) wants more of this, and naturally wants to reduce.

 

I'll still take it slow and reduce within reason.  If I feel cruddy while on a maintenace dose and I feel a different kind of cruddy, tapering, I'd rather be tapering. 

What seems right for me is an odd mix of methods.  It's like Ashton but with more frequent dosing.  I like taking a few smaller increments in the morning and during the day so I'm not overly tired and then a larger dose at bedtime.  I may gradually get it down to 3 dose per day.  1/5, 1/5, and then 3/5 of my total daily dose.  I realize it's important to evenly dose but I can't function during the day if I took 1/2 the dose in the morning.

This may not make much sense and I probably repeated myself.  I'm hyper but not in a bad way really.  I feel like I'm all dressed up with nowhere to go - I'm motivated but disorganized.

Verne

 

 

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From my understanding, tolerance withdrawal and relative withdrawal are the same thing;

 

http://www.benzobuddies.org/benzodiazepine-information/tolerance-addiction-dependency

 

 

Btw, Beeper. How long did it take you to heal after you last dose?

I'm down to .5 mgs of clon. I'm not sure if I should stick to the 10% rule or go a bit faster. I've been holding for a while.

 

 

Hope -

 

While I started feeling markedly better after about 7 weeks, I still had the odd symptom fairly regularly for about 6-7 months.  As to speeding things up,  I know it's tempting when you are close to the end and not feeling terrible.  (I assume you aren't feeling that bad if you are considering speeding up.  ;) ).  I'm mostly on the side if "it ain't broke, don't fix it".  Maybe increase the percentage a little to test it out (are you titrating; I forget  :idiot:) but I probably wouldn't go for a big increase, like 25% unless you are dry cutting.  I cut by .125mg from 1.25mg/day on down so was cutting 25% at .5mg but that last .5 mg might not have been so hard if I had titrated off instead.  :-\

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Im tapered down to .5mg could jump off tomorrow but might go down to 4 the 3ml.  Im great during the day but scared i wont sleep i took Temazepam originally for this problem. I keep telling myself .5mg is'nt getting me to sleep now. :-\
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Beeper and Hope thank you for the information in this thread. I've been getting nervous about cutting now that I'm almost off for as you know this process is no picnic. I guess the only way to go is to keep as much as I can to my schedule and continue to cut. My .5mg cuts are much higher than the recommended 10% but I feel like I've been doing this far too long.

 

Frannie

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From my understanding, tolerance withdrawal and relative withdrawal are the same thing;

 

http://www.benzobuddies.org/benzodiazepine-information/tolerance-addiction-dependency

 

 

Btw, Beeper. How long did it take you to heal after you last dose?

I'm down to .5 mgs of clon. I'm not sure if I should stick to the 10% rule or go a bit faster. I've been holding for a while.

 

 

Hope -

 

While I started feeling markedly better after about 7 weeks, I still had the odd symptom fairly regularly for about 6-7 months.  As to speeding things up,  I know it's tempting when you are close to the end and not feeling terrible.  (I assume you aren't feeling that bad if you are considering speeding up.  ;) ).  I'm mostly on the side if "it ain't broke, don't fix it".  Maybe increase the percentage a little to test it out (are you titrating; I forget  :idiot:) but I probably wouldn't go for a big increase, like 25% unless you are dry cutting.  I cut by .125mg from 1.25mg/day on down so was cutting 25% at .5mg but that last .5 mg might not have been so hard if I had titrated off instead.  :-\

 

Hi Beeper,

 

Sorry it's taken me so long to reply to you. I appreciate your reply.

 

I actually started milk titration about 10 days ago. I didn't change my dose at all but found 3 days after starting titration I started to have pretty bad w/d symptoms. I actually thought it might be due to relative w/d.  I stopped milk titration and after about 3 or 4 days started to feel a lot better. So, it was obviously the titration that didn't work for me. 

 

I've decided to cut by using a jeweler's scale. I think you're right about, 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it". I don't know what it was about the milk titration that didn't work but it didn't. Many who use a scale to cut can make cuts as small as 1%. Maye there was something with the milk and the k that didn't get along once they entered my system. Who knows. I don't think I'll have any problem with shaving a little off each pill each week. I've already decided hold where I am until after the holidays. I intend on having a really great time for the next two months and I don't want pesky w/ds getting in my way.  ;D

 

When I start up again, I'll probably shave 10% every 10 days or so.

 

Thanks for your reply, Beeper.

 

:smitten:

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Beeper and Hope thank you for the information in this thread. I've been getting nervous about cutting now that I'm almost off for as you know this process is no picnic. I guess the only way to go is to keep as much as I can to my schedule and continue to cut. My .5mg cuts are much higher than the recommended 10% but I feel like I've been doing this far too long.

 

Frannie

 

Hi Frannie,

 

I have found that it pays to be flexible during a taper. I don't stick to a schedule. I let my body guide me. If I'm not feeling stable, I wont make another cut until I do.

 

How are you w/d symptoms? If you're feeling pretty comfortable with your 10% cuts, that's great. If not, staying put for a short time (a few days or a week) might make things a little more comfortable for you.

 

I understand the desire to get this over with but I feel, in the long run, the more comfortable you are during your taper, the softer a landing you'll have after your last dose.

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