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Withdrawal questions


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Thank you for the warm welcomes.


I'm not sure if this is the right place to post my first question. I will post more specific questions related to withdrawal symptoms and tapering separately (to begin with I have put my benzo history in the profile, as you can see, it has been hectic and disorganised), but I'd just like to begin with some more general questions, the ones that plague me the most:


1) Does it really get better?? After reading appalling stories on the web about permanent cognitive impairment from chronic benzo use and/or lifelong protracted withdrawal I wonder if there really is a light at the end of the tunnel. Are these stories blown up, or is there really a threat of being mentally handicapped for life, or say decades?


2) How does one distinguish between wd symptoms and the symptoms of chronic use (which led me to realise I was in danger in the first place, and begin tapering) when they are almost indistinguishable from one another?

I'm basically experiencing the same symptoms now that I'm tapering that led me to look all this stuff up online in the first place and realise that the symptoms I had prior to tapering were probably be those of chronic benzo use ( I was never warned by doctors btw, who just went on prescribing, I only found this stuff out when it was too late.) So how does one know which is which and adjust tapering/behaviour accordingly?


3) Similarly, how does one distinguish between wd symptoms and something serious like stroke for example, when symptoms are also almost the same? I have been holding on so far by rationalising and sticking to the idea that all the symptoms I'm experiencing are from wd and/or chronic benzo use, but sometimes the fear dawns on me that my wd symptoms could in fact mask a serious medical condition that I would never even know about given the similarity of symptoms.


4) I did have a 4th question, but have instantly forgotten it no sooner had I written the '4'. Severe memory loss is one of my most handicapping wd symptoms and/or symptoms from chronic use. It could take me all day or longer to retrieve it from somewhere in my brain. On this subject, let me apologise in advance for any redundancies or dyslexic typing. Organising thoughts rationally, retrieving memories, and hunting for vocabulary are probably some of my hardest daily tasks, and I have developed terrible typing dyslexia. I USED to be a fairly articulate person, but no longer....

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The 4th question, it came back to me much faster than expected  :)


4) Is there any hope of achieving no wd symptoms, or at least more tolerable/less extreme ones, while still in the tapering/still taking process, ie, before being totally benzodiazepine free? Or does one never "even out" until (long) after complete cessation?


many thanks again

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Hi LATR (for short),

I read all of your questions but just want to answer number 3 about how do you tell this from other medical problems. From my perspective, you can't always tell the difference. I have been to the doctor 3 times in the last year with symptoms that could have been something else. I think if I can't tell the difference, I won't decide that it is not something else. It is safest for me. It might end up with more tests - for me, just blood tests, but that is okay.

I have been tapering for a long time and it has been better than when I was first at it. Others will chime in to answer your other questions. You also might want to read under success stories - to tell you that things can get better.

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Welcome Love,


I'm a very new member of this forum, too...less than a month but I came here, like you, in desperate need of answers, help and reassurance.  It will take awhile for you to get answers to your questions because there are so many variables.  Each one of us is a little different but we have lots in common in this journey towards wellness. 


Hang out here for awhile and read, read, read.  Keep asking questions.  Great people on this forum, knowledgeable and supportive.  Lots of success stories and people on the forum who are still around to help the rest of us even after they've recovered.


Withdrawal can be tough, tapering slow is important.  Tapering fast is usually a bad idea.  You can and will get better.  Side effects can be very frightening.  Lots of the mental/emotional stuff is the benzos talking. 


See you around, Love!  :hug:


Challis :smitten:

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