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I spoke to a neuroscientist tonight about benzos....


[as...]

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I went to a cocktail party for my son's school tonight and found myself talking with a neuroscientist. She is a PhD and professor of neuroscience at a major US university.

 

We talked a bit about Alzheimer's-- my grandmother had it--  and then I brought up benzo withdrawal. I asked her about memory loss and other cognitive changes caused from taking benzos. She was very aware about the multitude of problems caused from benzos and launched right into talking about the topic. First, she readily agreed with me about the lack of information that is available or provided to doctors by the drug companies and what a travesty it is. Then, we discussed what the studies have shown about benzo use and withdrawal. She said that there aren't really many studies involving humans-- a couple of them exist regarding benzo withdrawal. She noted that there are more studies done on rats in benzo withdrawal. Most importantly, all of these studies have demonstrated the same thing-- recovery happens. In rats and in humans, the subjects ALL recover ALL of the faculties previously had. She said it takes longer in some individuals than others, and they don't know why.

 

I asked her if there was anything that I could do to help facilitate recovery. She said that the brain is am amazing organ. It rebuilds and regenerates, and you can do exercises to help it along. For memory loss and brain fog, she recommended doing memory exercises-- like playing the memory game with visual cues, and going through old photos and organizing them by date to remember when events happen.  I didn't get a chance to ask her if trying to live the most normal life possible would help the anxious brain adjust to feel less anxious-- unfortunately, her babysitter called, and she had to leave... Nevertheless it was a really encouraging discussion, because she was so brilliant, and I felt like I was talking to someone who really had the science to back up all of her opinions.

 

Importantly, I asked her if they ever saw a case where the brain changes (memory loss, anxiety, etc) were permanent, and she said that there have been no studies showing that. She said that the only people showing permanent brain damage from benzo use are the people who keep taking them. If you keep taking them, you will not get the brain back; if you stop, you WILL RECOVER!! :yippee:

 

 

ask2266

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[1e...]

Thank you so much for posting about this!  I love this kind of stuff from real people and have read something similar from someone else months ago that was from a neurologist off the record.  This just reinforces it all the more.  :)

 

puffin  :smitten:

 

p.s. Love the corgi down below.  :)

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What a fabulous post!!! Thank you so much for taking the time to share it with us! You must know how much it means to us to have hope while we are healing. It is so kind of you to take your time to write this! I will feel positive all day because of it. Someone should put this post in "cement" at the top of tis forum so that it stays at a place where we can always see it for a reminder. :smitten:

 

Much love to you,

Parker

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Very interesting! Thanks for posting. I just found out there's a benzo withdrawal doctor close by if I think I need one at this point. Three months ago yes. Now, doing ok.
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I'm trying to tell myself this--it's just really hard for me right now. Someone pissed me off badly at work, and I cannot stop thinking about it, every time I go to work I get scared I will see this person (I don't have to interact with them, but for some reason just the thought of seeing them terrifies me).  Before, it wouldn't have been a big deal, I'd have shrugged it off, ignored the person, and forgotten about it that same day. I'd have said "**** them!" and moved on. Now, my quality of life is really low because of this and I'm afraid it's not going to end. :( I'm sleeping like 5 hours a night, my muscles are tight and painful, and I always bite my lips. My heart races all day. This is honestly very close to how the first week of w/d felt--not quite, but the only difference is right now I don't have dp/dr, which I did the first week. Don't mean to make such a negative post but I'm scared, tired of this, angry at myself for taking benzos, and blaming this person at work for my feeling like this. It feels like symptoms aren't going to let up...

 

 

Edit: profanity

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Hi all. Trig, you can work, wow that is great! You are lucky. I sit in a recliner all day and then back upstairs to bed at night (not much sleep). My poor husband works and has to do everything at home. I am useless right now and that really gets under my skin  :(  .

I am sorry about this. You don't deserve to feel like this. I think it will past. Benzos make me have some unwelcome, intrusive thoughts. I hope you feel better real soon.

Hugs,

Bear

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Hey Trig ... this has gone off topic but I want to address your issue with your co-worker.  If there were PM's I would contact you directly.  I had an incident last week with my grandson's teacher.  She was actively shaming him in front of me and I recoiled inside and did nothing.  Anyways later that night the feeling rose up again and I took a look at it as I felt it's intensity inside me.  This person reminded me of past emotional events as a child that I was unable to deal with at the time.  Now as an adult I can.  All I had to do was relax and feel the feeling and acknowledge it.  This gave me back my power in the here and now and I have since addressed the issue directly and assertively with this teacher.  I hope you follow what I'm saying.  I'm not a therapist by the way but this is the kind of work a good one helps you do in clearing past emotional baggage.  :)
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Thanks from me as well! I'm actually seeing a functional neurologist while I titrate down and he gives me specific exercises to do based on how he sees my brain responding to withdrawal. I wish I could say it's making this process much easier, but I'm not sure I can. However, I do believe that once I'm off, it will help my brain heal faster.
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  • 2 weeks later...
Thanks Ask, great to know and will try the memory exercises, I have been able to engage in some educational apps on my phone like wordfeud, this challenging game with numbers which feel like it's doing a good number on my brain and a puzzle game, I get a lot of down time at work so these have been pretty helpful.
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  • 4 months later...

@[As...]

 

Did this scientist offer any insight as to whether cognitive function could actually become sharper once healed than it was pre-benzo? Because as I heal I am finding that my memory and ability to perform certain tasks is actually better than it was. I wonder if it just feels that way because I was in such a fog during benzo use and during w/d or if my brain has healed "smarter"!! LOL!!! One can hope, right?  ;)

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Check out The Emotional Life of Your Brain by Richard Davidson.  Just came out.  I believe the evidence in the author's studies showed that both function and structure of the brain can improve.  Mindfulness is one area that was studied and found to be of great benefit. Have not read the book yet, saw the author interviewed.

 

Vertigo

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@Ask2266, thanks for bumping this again. I wish I had read it weeks ago. Very encouraging info. Thanks so much. I am still waiting to get an apt with a benzo wise pharmacologist in my area who conducts drug therapy research and whose special interest is benzos. I have so many questions for him that I can't wait to share the answers with everyone on this forum.

 

Did this scientist offer any insight as to whether cognitive function could actually become sharper once healed than it was pre-benzo? Because as I heal I am finding that my memory and ability to perform certain tasks is actually better than it was. I wonder if it just feels that way because I was in such a fog during benzo use and during w/d or if my brain has healed "smarter"!! LOL!!! One can hope, right?  ;)

 

Please share with us what he says, moneyd

this short term memory loss is so awful. I truly hope it goes away Im feelng stupid these days!!!

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