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   Your reasons for joining BenzoBuddies (withdrawal support; taper advice; information; etc.);

Taper advice, withdrawal support

 

 

   The type of benzodiazepine (or z-drug) you take or have taken;

Lorazepam (Ativan)

 

   For how long you have been taking benzodiazepines;

6.5 months

 

Your present dose - 1.5mg (down from 3mg over the course of a month)

 

   The size (dose) of the individual pills you use;

1mg tabs, cut into halves, taken at 8am, 1pm, 6pm

 

   If you have started or finished your taper;

I have started my taper, gotten to 1.5mg/day and am starting to have highly unpleasant symptoms

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Hi KungFuKao, welcome to BenzoBuddies

 

 

Thank you for telling your history. You've done a great job in tapering down to half of what you're starting dose was. What kinds of symptoms are you having? Let us know how we can help, you're not alone.

 

Star

 

 

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I've been on Lorazepam since April of this year, and I'm feeling confident enough with my anxiety to come off of it.  Each week on Monday I've been coming down 1/2 of a tablet.  Monday is usually a rough day, but after that I'm alright.  But last Monday I tried going down to just one tablet (two halves at 10 & 6) I had what I can only describe as the worst day of my life. 

 

Had a severe panic attack that night, so bad that I honestly thought I was dying.  I've never felt my heartbeat that fast ever, even after doing wind sprints. (first one in 3 months or so, I thought I had them beat!  =( ) Tightness in head, all-over achiness, dizziness & lightheadedness, so bad that I feel as though I will pass out. Brain fog, tough to concentrate, lose train of thought often.  My left leg bounces up & down like crazy.  Muscle spasms/fatigue, trouble sleeping and/or staying asleep.  Apathetic, lethargic.  Random pains, mostly in legs.  Cold or hot sensations even when I'm not actually cold or hot, especially in face.  Inside of skull feels pressurized/about to blow up.  Constant state of imminent dread, as though someone or something is going to leap out & kill me at any second.  Uncomfortable awareness of heartbeat.

 

Just to name a few, and all of this over the past 3 days.  I'm not sure if this is all withdrawal, or if the anxiety is mixed in, but either way it's been a rough few days.  This hit me straight out of the blue & I've been a complete wreck ever since =P  I have an appointment scheduled with my PCP tomorrow to discuss all of this.  I can't help but feel a little angry at him for getting me 'hooked' on this garbage.  I've always been a 'no-pill' kinda guy, and I raised my concern with him before he prescribed this to me that I don't want to get addicted to it.  He reassured me that he wouldn't have me on it long enough for that to happen, but clearly it has =P  I'm sure the benefits (at that time) were outweighing the risks.  I really like my PCP in all other respects :)

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Your PCP has been misinformed.  It only takes two to four weeks to develop dependence on benzodiazepines.  It can take many months to taper off of them safely.

 

Withdrawal has a "lag time" effect, because your brain has changed its chemistry in response to the way the drug has disrupted it, and it takes time for a brain to remodel itself back to normal.  Your taper has probably gotten ahead of your brain's ability to heal.

 

At this point you can either hold your taper (just stop tapering and hold at your current dose) until your symptoms settle down (which could take many weeks, so be patient).  Or you can reinstate slightly, perhaps up to 1.75 or 2 mg, and then hold the taper until your symptoms settle down.  It can still take many weeks, so be patient.

 

Personally I recommend the partial reinstatement given how rapidly you have dropped to half your original dose.

 

While you're waiting, that will give you time to do more reading on this board and talk to some folks who have successfully gotten off Ativan without getting too ill, and develop a plan for a reasonable, safe, slow taper.

 

Good luck! you came to the right place!

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Thanks for the advice!  Of course I'm going to consult with my PCP in this regard, but I have a feeling his recommendation(s) will mirror yours.  :thumbsup:  I had originally consulted him about how to taper, and he told me to come down half a pill every 4-5 days.  I felt more comfortable with a week, so did that instead.  He must be misinformed about not only the amount of time it takes to develop dependency, but how to safely taper without catastrophic results.  I'll raise all of my concerns & questions with him, and see what he has to say.  I'll keep you updated! 

 

In unrelated news, I've lost 57 pounds since being hospitalized in April (which is where the anxiety originally sprang up; bilateral pulmonary embolisms with infarction on right side after pneumonia, yeehaw!) so that's exciting!  I'm eating more whole grain, oats & fiber than your average cow, along with around 30-45 minutes of exercise a day.  No fad diets or supplements, just good old fashioned exercise & making better & healthier choices ;)

 

Just wanted to say, it's nice to have a community of people that are going through this exact same thing, and can relate to my plight.  Anxiety & withdrawal just aren't something you can describe to your average Joe and expect them to understand  :P

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Alright, sorry I didn't get back to you all sooner.  Life =P  My PCP essentially told me that everyone's metabolism is different.  Some people can come down as fast as I did (was) and be just fine, some people have to scale it back a bit.  So he told me instead of doing half pills 3x a day, tapering to 1/4 pill, then two halves, then 1/4, 1/4, 1/2, etc.  I'm going to start this tomorrow.  I seem to have regained some equilibrium after those two days of hell, so I'm a little apprehensive about coming down again, but I'd much rather be off of this crap sooner than later!  My doctor doesn't think I'm addicted, he thinks I'm physically dependent.  What is the difference between addiction & dependency?  he didn't explain it to me.  Thanks for reading, all :)
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Hi Kungfu,

I'm taperng off of this same drug too. It is a very very powerful drug. I had to learn the hard way to respect exactly how powerful as 1 mg is equal to 10 mg of Ativan.  I went off the drug in a 3 week period of tme - starting at a high of 3 mg - which is 30 mg of Valium. Each month was more difficult than the one before and I had very disturbing symtpoms. In and out of dr offices, ERs and a teaching hospital and asked each the questions - could it be withdrawal - all said it was impossble. I wanted to die. I finally did my own research, found this site, read a book called worse than heroin (author withdrew from ativan) and finally knew I was right and it was the drug. It scared me at frst that I could be facing many months of recovery, but I had to face it in order to deal with it. So first I dealt with the fear, then I got advice from several people on this board and am now down to less than .5 mg of Ativan - and so far it has been manageable, although getting more difficult when I hit .5 mg. I have been tapering since February of this year, so you can see how slow I have had to go. One advantage it looks like you have is that this is your first time (right?) comng off the drug and it has been six months? I was on it before for about that long and was able to taper more quickly and seemed to do okay. It was going back on and off again that threw me into such a bad place.  when I finally figured out what was causing such terrible symptoms, and that I had withdrew way too rapidly (even though almost all doctors told me this rate of withdrawal was fine), I ended up reinstating and began my taper from there. I will also menton that as soon as I did that, my debilitating symptoms decreased so significantly that I was able to return to work.  I never ever want to scare anyone, but rather just encourage them to keep their taper slow as they can and listen to their body as they ae doing it.  Good luick.

amb

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Alright, sorry I didn't get back to you all sooner.  Life =P  My PCP essentially told me that everyone's metabolism is different.  Some people can come down as fast as I did (was) and be just fine, some people have to scale it back a bit.  So he told me instead of doing half pills 3x a day, tapering to 1/4 pill, then two halves, then 1/4, 1/4, 1/2, etc.  I'm going to start this tomorrow.  I seem to have regained some equilibrium after those two days of hell, so I'm a little apprehensive about coming down again, but I'd much rather be off of this crap sooner than later!  My doctor doesn't think I'm addicted, he thinks I'm physically dependent.  What is the difference between addiction & dependency?  he didn't explain it to me.  Thanks for reading, all :)

 

I'd say there is little distinction between the definition of addiction and dependency. Benzos can be both physically and/or emotionally addictive or dependent. Most people who are addicted to benzos have become "accidentally addicted". Meaning, they took the benzos on the advice of their physicians not knowing they could/would get addicted. I don't consider those people to be addicts but their brains have become dependent on the drug. That's why it's so difficult to get off it.

 

As for your anxiety, what you describe is text book w/d anxiety. Unfortunately a viscous cycle is formed when we start to have strange sensations. This often triggers a great deal of fright and anxiety which are added to the w/d symptoms we already have.

 

You're doctor is right when he says that some have a more difficult time than others, coming off benzos. The general recommendation is that you come off 10% of your present dose every 1 -2 weeks. Your taper has been rather rapid. Because of the short half-life, Ativan can be difficult to taper off. It's not unheard of...just difficult. You might consider switching to valium. Valium has a long half life which can make a for a smoother taper.

 

The bottom line is you should do what you feel comfortable doing but my suggestion is to be flexible and listen to you body. Hold if your symptoms feel unmanageable, then continue when you feel better.

 

Btw, I wouldn't say your doctor has been "misinformed". There are many people for whom tapering off any benzo isn't fraught with problems. What you see here at BB is a dense population of those who have had trouble. I all likelihood your doctor may not have had any trouble tapering others as quickly as he had you do earlier. It also sounds like your doctor is open-minded to the fact that everyone is different and willing to work with you. That will be helpful.

 

 

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Quick update, doing the 1/4, 1/2, 1/2 taper for a few days now, and it seems as though the symptoms are getting progressively worse.  My PVCs are back full force (If you've ever had them, you know what they are, and they suuuuuck, especially with anxiety!) for no good reason.  I'm feeling lethargic & apathetic again, random bodily pains, and despite all of the meditation & deep relaxation I've been pumping through my ear buds, I can't seem to lower my anxiety.  The thing that got me into the hospital initially to get checked out (which is when they found the blood clots) was an overwhelming feeling like I'm about to pass out, vertigo/falling sensation even while sitting down.  Doctor said it was my autonomic nervous system trying to tell me that it couldn't get enough blood to my brain.  I'm starting to get feelings like that again, and I can't help but think it's because my body is trying to tell me that something is wrong (again)  I've been a complete wreck!  and all of this with just 1/4 of a pill, yeesh.  This drug coupled with anxiety is just pure unmitigated hell. 

 

I'm sure people out there have had similar problems, how did/do you work through them?  Sometimes it's just too much, and I feel a little crushed under the weight of it all.  I've been going to therapy to help out, and the best advice I get there is to be conscious of breath, do deep breathing exercises & just 'try to let go' of unwanted thoughts.  Sounds easy in theory, but considerably harder in practice =P  What works for you?

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I see earlier on it was suggested that you speak to your doctor about crossing over to valium. Would you consider it?

 

I also suggest you speak to your doctor about how you're feeling. You might want to get checked out.

 

I also have PVCs. I know how they feel. When I first started getting them years ago they completely freaked me out but I learned how to accept them. As you know they are benign. Than can't hurt you.

 

You ask how people deal with their withdrawal symptoms. The one answer I can give you is...acceptance and distraction.

 

You could ask your therapist to talk to you about acceptance of your symptoms. When I say that you need to accept them, I don't mean you need to like them. I mean you need to accept that they are there and not fight them. When you can finally stop fighting them, they will diminish. I realize this is easier said than done, which is why I think speaking to your therapist about acceptance might help.

 

Distract yourself. Do something...anything that might take your mind off how you're feeling. I have tremors almost constantly. If I just sit, I feel them more. So I try to keep moving, doing things...etc.

 

If you've had past medical problems, I think you should see your doctor. You seem to be saying that you think you might be experiencing the same problems you had before. See your doctor. Get that ruled out so it's one less thing to worry about.

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Kung Fu, its been quite awhile since I have visited BB, but see nothing has changed.  Still our seemingly uninformed docs continue to treat benzo's as if it were aspirin.  Yea take two and don't worry about a thing.  NON addictive, just what the doctor ordered for that little case of anxiety.

WRONG.  I am 63 , a 6foot 3 old Jock that spent the better part of my life drug free.  I have a non addictive personality, and owe my introduction to benzo's to my sleep doctor who thought xanax was just the ticket to help me get some sleep ,if needed, when my RLS symptoms reared up.

If you told me a pill the size of a bb could completely debilitate a 220lb man , I would have laughed at you. 

Well the laugh was on me, when doc  changed the xanax to  clonazopam, and told me not to worry .........6 weeks in I was a total mess.

 

You could read my story if it still comes up here ( been benzo free for over 2 years,) but its basicallly the same as many here.  The reason I thought I would add my 2 cents is I still remember how scared I was when the symptoms knocked me down , cost me my job, and 6 months of my life to get my balance back.\

 

Massive depression, anxiety , panic attacks, loss of appetite, uncontrollable crying fits were my symptoms .  Everyone gets a different package it seems but all of them lead to the same place....feeling completely alone, unable to explain yourself to your family , friends and make them believe you are experiencing something you have absolutely no controll of.  ONLY those of us that have experienced this will truely understand, so make this a daily visit, cause misery loves company, and sharing your symptoms and story, helps others here deal with theirs.

 

Probably your worst fear is you will never be normal again.  I know that was something I thought about every day as I slowly reduced the drug and , in the beginning , found little change.

 

Well how about a little good news................  STOP WORRYING YOU WILL NEVER BE NORMAL AGAIN , CAUSE YOU WILL,  CAN'T SAY THAT LOUD ENOUGH SO I AM SHOUTING IT TO YOU.  ALL THE SUFFERING YOUR GOING THRU WILL GRADUALLY TAPER OFF AS YOU GET RID OF THE DRUG AND YOUR BODY HEALS.

 

Now the not so good part.  There is no one here that can give you a timetable for how long that will take.  If your lucky , like I was , when you get down below .5 mg, you will see a gradual change , and get those wonderful windows of normality , that will give you a peek at your old self , or at least the part that was normal before taking the drug. 

 

I healed quickly, and a month off the drug, enough of my old self was back that I could function normally again.  Joy over little things returned , depression dissappeared and I could quit worrying about never getting back to normal again.

 

Don't believe what your doc tells you about getting off quick.  Don't go faster than 10% reduction per week. Fast is bad slow is good.  YOu have to give your brain time to get use to not getting its full daily dose of the benzo.  kinda sneak up on it, AND  don't expectgoing slow is the secret to eliminating your  symptoms, it almost certainly won't.  What going slow  will do is reduce the severity of the symptoms, and allow you to adjust  ,hold on, and push forward each week. 

Also don't look for any alternative drug, vitamin,or health addative to make things go quicker, cause as you stay here and read more blogs , you'll see there just is nothing that can make this journey go any faster than the week to week slow reduction of the drug.  If there was it would be the first thing you would read when you brought up BB.

 

Now when  you get to zero, don't get discouraged if you still are suffering.  It could take weeks for your brain to heal.  Like I said ,one month out for me put me in a pretty good place once drug free, but others can take months. 

 

I am not telling you all this to scare the crap out of you, cause you are allready scared enough as it is.  I am telling you that all the pain and suffering your gonna go thru is gonna get ;you off this drug and leave you with a whole new understanding of how good it is to be normal . 

And make no mistake , you will get back to normal  ( just may have to look for alternative approach to dealing with anxiety if thats still with you)

 

3 months free of the drug I was back to my old self, ( with a new approach to dealing with my RLS, but thats a whole nother story lol).

2 years out , healthy, happy and loving life.  I"ll save you a place. :thumbsup:

softtail

 

Hang i

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Thanks for the replies Hope & Softy.  It's encouraging to know that people are able to get through this & come out clean on the other side.  Right now, I'm having a rough ride!  I've also been completely drug-free my entire life, I've never touched a cigarette or any sort of illegal substance, basically a good kid!  ;)  My doctor tried to put me on Clonazepam also, and I felt like I was made out of lead.  I couldn't even function in my day-to-day life.  So we went back to the Ativan =(  I've never been depressed before, but I can only assume that it is setting in. 

 

This section is in reply to softtail:

 

You're right softtail, it is completely impossible to describe this to someone who has never had it & expect them to even begin to fathom how awful it is =P 

"Probably your worst fear is you will never be normal again. "  ... I'd say it's definitely in my top 3.  Going from 'normal' to whatever this is has been a massive adjustment in my life.  From healthy to unhealthy in the blink of an eye, and it has certainly taken its toll.  Among the myriad of things I worry about is just that.  Will I ever be 'normal' again?  From where I'm standing, it doesn't feel like it, it truly doesn't.  But reading through all these success stories just bolsters my hopes!  My number one worry is my heart.  From what I've read, people who develop sudden anxiety (like yours truly :D) often have this fear.  Since it's the thing you can feel the most, you become hyper-aware of it and everything it's doing.  My issue wasn't even -with- my heart, it was clots in my lungs, so it seems a little irrational to harbor fears of my heart blowing up, or just giving out, or rocketing another clot straight to my gray matter. 

 

But yeah softy, definitely save me a place, I'll be there ASAP!

 

This section is in reply to Hope:

 

I didn't bring up the Valium thing at my last doctor's visit, although perhaps I should have.  I think I was just scared of having to take more pills.  I hate pills with a passion, and since having the clots I have to take 6 or 7 a day, plus Tylenol if I get wicked headaches, which happens sometimes.  >_<  I'll talk to my Doc about it, I have another appointment at the end of the month, and I'm going to bring a laundry list of questions with me.

 

In regards to PVCs, I had a full workup done about 4 months back, 48 hour Holter, heart sonogram, 30 day event monitor, etc. etc. and everything checked out perfectly fine.  Normal volume, size, blood flow, sinus rhythm, etc.  My cardiologist even said I had a 'strong' heart & heartbeat.  The PVCs were deemed by both the cardiologist & doctor to be harmless.  But for being so 'benign' they sure are a pain.  I know acceptance is key, but they can be difficult to ignore!  They get so irritating that they make me want to literally scream, at times.  I've had them as often as 5-8 every minute, to just a few in a day, but they never get any easier.  My doctor insists that everything is normal in that regard, he even caught a few on an EKG & didn't seem concerned in the slightest.  I guess if a trained medical professional tells you not to worry about it, you should probably listen =P

 

I will certainly bring this up with my therapist, as we don't seem to focus as much on my anxiety as I think we should.  He wants to know when I'm going to be able to get back to work & about my relationship with family & things that don't really pertain to my immediate needs.  We'll see if I can steer that in the right direction.  I've been trying to distract myself by reading & getting out on walks, but it feels like just a temporary fix.  Gonna get this mess sorted out eventually! :)

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I was diagnosed with PVCs about 5 years ago and although I'm used to them, if I get a bad run of them (many in a row) it can be unnerving. They can ramp up anxiety and cause you to be hyper sensitive to every little thing your heart is doing. They truly are harmless. I've had them for at least 5 years and I've had no problems at all.

 

You mentioned that reading and walking seems like a temporary fix; that's all you need right now because this is a temporary problem. I try to not think too much about the future. I try to live in the moment as much as I can. It helps me keep things in perspective.

 

Btw, I'm sure if you went to you therapist and said, 'I'd like to focus on my anxiety more, or learning more about acceptance, he would be happy to do so. Remember you're the boss in terms of your therapy.

 

Hang in there. You will get out of this mess.

 

 

Hope

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Today was my first day of going from 1.5mgs to 1.25  - and it went incredibly smooth.  I barely had any symptoms today, kind of unbelievable.  I keep waiting for the hammer to drop!  Here's to hoping that it continues going well :)
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kung ,just dropped back in to see how things are going.  I see you dropped .25 mg.  Just for comparison sake , let me compare that drop to how I started my journey off Clono.    My doctor told me to drop .25 mg. per week till I was done.  That was the first and only suggestion my doctor told me that I followed and boy did I pay for that.

 

I started my journey off the drug from 1.5 mg. of Clono.  Week one dropped .25 mg.  hey no problem.  Doc was right.  Second week dropped another .25 mg.  and still going good.  Start of 3rd week dropped another .25 mg. and second day after that drop I started the worst 3 weeks of  my life.   

 

I say worst 3 weeks cause that was my intro to the massive onslaught of symptoms that I felt were gonna send me over the edge.    That was pretty much when I started looking for help and found BB.  And it took 3 weeks of holding at.75mg. till the symptoms started to relax a bit.

My shrink, ( yea got one of those too since I felt I was loosing my mind) had me reinstate to 1 mg.  to see if symptoms would quiet down, but in hind site I wish I had just stayed at .75 mg. for one more week , before starting my new reduction plan of 10% per week.

Hopefully  your .25 mg drop will not hit you real hard , but regardless my advice is to slow yourself down  to the 10% per week rate to reduce the chance of getting hit as hard as I did.

 

I know how bad you want off the drug, but going too quick will just increase the symptoms and severity .

 

Gonna keep checking in to see how things go for you.    :thumbsup:

 

 

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Haha, that was the last thing I wanted to hear, to be honest!  But everyone's case is different, as we all know :)  With any luck, I won't hit the skids like that.  Been on 1.25mg since Monday & haven't had any major 'flare-ups'.  In fact, my symptoms seem somewhat reduced, got my first night of solid sleep in a long time yesterday, so I can only hope that it stays that way!  Here's to hoping.  Thanks for checking back on me, nice to have someone take a sincere interest in my plight ^_^
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You're right. Everyone is different. You might be able to continue as you are. I always say, let your body guide you. If at any point you do start to have symptoms, just hold and slow it down. So far you're managing well. Don't let other people's stories affect you too much. You're an individual with a different metabolism, attitude, state of health...etc. All these things affect how we feel during a taper.

 

Keep us updated.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Been a while since I updated, sorry for that!  In the past month I've developed PACs now, along with the PVCs.  So my heart is firing off extra beats and/or skipping beats every day for the past 6 days.  I raised my concern with my doctor, he did an EKG & spotted an extra beat on the rhythm strip.  He doesn't think it's anything concerning, but also thinks it's a good idea to do another Holter monitor & see if we can catch anything.  Although, knowing my luck, they'll go away the day before I'm scheduled to go in =P  I've got my Lorazepam down to 0.75mg/day, and since I'm having such insane symptoms, I'm keeping it there for now.  Pretty good though, considering I was on 3 full pills just a few months ago.  My doctor actually suggested going back up to 1.5mg/day to see if the symptoms would go away.  Screw that!  He said to take 25mg of atenolol - not for blood pressure, but just to see if the symptoms would abate.  So far, I haven't noticed any reduction in symptoms whatsoever.

 

I've been wondering lately why I've developed all of these symptoms in the past 8 months.  I went 28 years feeling just fine, very rarely sick, no major happenings aside from pneumonia in my teens.  Now I'm stuck in this total $#!+storm of symptoms & heart hiccups & withdrawal, etc.  It can be very difficult to accept at times =(  I think most people have a slight fear of death, but mine seems to be getting worse & worse.  I constantly develop new symptoms, even though I eat right, steer clear of caffeine/drinking/smoking/drugs/stimulants/etc.  I take a multivitamin, get plenty of fiber, stay hydrated, exercise daily, blahblahblah.  It doesn't feel 'fair' that I have to deal with all of this when there are crackheads & speed freaks & celebrities out there that can abuse the crap out of their bodies & minds & ultimately be no worse for the wear.  I've got a little 'why me' syndrome going on.  Any words of encouragement? ^_^

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When I was diagnosed with PCVs it was out of the blue. I wasn't tapering..etc. They just started for no reason at all but I've been able to control them by limiting my caffeine intake as well as chocolate. Stress is also an issue for me. When I first was diagnosed, I was frightened. But as time when on and I didn't fall over dead, and I researched more, I became fine with them. The more they didn't upset me the less frequent they became.

 

We can't rule out stress when dealing with symptoms. Tapering is stressful and that stress will bring on new symptoms...as will the taper.

 

I know all of this is frightening but what you're going through is normal...even the worry of it all is normal. You're not going to die and I can speak from personal experience. I've had PVCs for more than 7 years. They will never do anything harmful to you. That I can promise.

 

Often during a taper, strange sensations cause a lot of anxiety. That anxiety causes strange sensations...etc. When you feel a new sensation, you know it's w/ds. Your brain is rewiring itself and you're going to feel these things. Try to remind yourself...this is normal. These are just sensations and they can't hurt me...and most of all, do what you can do relax and keep yourself occupied.

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Mine started about a month after my hospitalization ordeal, and now I've got both PVCs and PACs together!  My doctor isn't concerned with either one, and thinks that they probably stemmed from the stress & worry & panic that I was going through post-hospital.  I'll learn my lesson someday, but I keep looking online for symptoms & what to watch out for, and my anxious brain wants to leap into conclusions.  Some places say that PVC/PAC runs can result in sudden cardiac arrest.  Some places say not to exercise 'too much' because you can give yourself a heart attack.  I guess the age-old addage of 'don't believe everything you hear' comes into play here, but the anxious brain -wants- to believe it all, so it has the broadest range of information to keep you safe =P  (i.e. not letting you go outside sometimes, making you avoid social situations & large crowds, etc.)

 

All these terrible things that 'can' happen, but probably won't.  I know it's not good for me to stress myself out & obsess over them.  I know that they're highly unlikely & should take comfort from my doctor's reassurance.  I know that some day I'll look back on all this & laugh (hopefully!) but when you're in the here & now, it's tough to shake the fear & the questions & the sensations & just pass them off as 'normal' =P  I think I need to start doing meditation again, I remember being able to relax very deeply, to the point of falling asleep most times :)  I'm sure that can't be bad for you! 

 

I have been going to CBT, and since I started with it my anxiety, stress & panic attacks have subsided considerably.  That first month was pure hell until I got on the therapy train :)  Also, I've only been dealing with this for 8 months, so it's all pretty fresh still.  I wish I was a weathered veteran like some of you!  ^_^  (side note: my CBT took me down from every week to every other week because he thinks I'm making great progress)  It's just super frustrating sometimes when things don't go your way at the exact time you want them to =P  I've always been a 'both hands on the wheel' kinda guy, and it's aggravating when you can't steer =P

 

Thanks for the words of encouragement though Hope, exactly what I needed! 

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I just sent my 48-hour Holter back in to the cardiology center.  I said to my doctor "What do you want to bet that the day I get the Holter monitor on is the day that my PVCs stop?"  We laughed about it, but sure enough =P  I felt a few while I had it on though, so at least they'll have -something- to look at.  Hopefully they have good news (or no news!) and all of this is just in my head.  I had all of the blood tests you can have done, pretty much, and all of my levels were normal.  Magnesium, potassium, iron, all that stuff was at good levels.  Thyroid function is normal, everything looks good!  I've also noticed a significant reduction in symptoms lately.  I seem to be able to sleep & get out of bed a lot easier, I don't hear/feel my heart as much as I used to, so that's encouraging!  Starting to develop light headaches & a little more dizziness than usual, but nothing super frightful.  I had a panic attack this morning right before I got into the shower.  It just hit me like a ton of bricks, I could feel the adrenaline surging & my heart blasting away, but I was able to just stay calm & breathe through it.  Told myself not to worry about anything unless I felt pain, and that it would go away soon.  And it did!  Do these affect other people similarly?  In most stories/testimonials I've read, people can feel a panic attack coming.  Mine just bowl me over when I'm not looking =P 

 

I'm still on the 0.75mg of Ativan (0.25mg 3 times per day) and I can feel the highs & lows.  I'd like to come down again, but I think it's still too soon.  It's something you can kind of 'feel' isn't it?

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  • 1 month later...

Happy new year, Benzo Buddies!  :)

 

Update:  I came off of the Ativan entirely, I just took the plunge on the 6th.  Was down to 0.5mg & decided that I didn't want to keep doing this & just stopped (after consulting my doctor, he said coming off of a dose that small wouldn't produce anything serious) but I felt like a pile of garbage for about 3 days.  The subsequent days have been... somewhat better, slowly but surely.  My doctor also recommends that I get off of the Warfarin since he doesn't think the clots were a hereditary condition, he thinks they were provoked from the inactivity & the week of pneumonia I went through.  Feeling apprehensive about it though, since the blood clots are what started all this mess, and now my first line of defense is going away!  Anxiety bells are going off =P  I long for the day when I can look back on all of this & be relieved that it's over ^_^  To add insult to injury, I had blood in my stool this morning!  Went to the doctor, they aren't concerned about it, but it has done absolutely nothing for my anxiety >_<  Come on 2012, let's get better!  How has everyone else's new years shaped up so far?  I look forward to hearing from you! :)

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  • 4 weeks later...

Aww, no replies?  Nobody likes me, everybody hates me... ;)

Quick update - Doing somewhat better, overall.  I had a severe dizziness episode that I went to the ER for, and the doctor couldn't find anything conclusive, but was leaning towards having prolonged benzo withdrawal symptoms.  Sea-sickness pill cured it right up, and it hasn't shown up since.  I'm now medicine-free aside from a tablet of Aspirin before bed!  Feels good, but is still a little scary when you don't have any crutches to lean on.  Lifestyle changes & better choices have ensued though, fast approaching 70 pounds lost :)  Haven't had any PVC runs for quite a while, which is nice!  Anxiety is definitely still present, but I'm working on it with a CBT.  Hopefully I can have this whole thing licked within the year.  How is everyone else doing with their benzos?

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