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Let's Try to deal with the underlying reasons


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So as I talk to more people, I realize that maybe it would be a good idea for us to support each other in, not just the w/d and recovery, but maybe let's talk about why we got on this stuff to begin with.  Maybe we can help each other deal with the pain from our past, and maybe we can help each other cope with these w/d a little better at the same time.  I have a long story, but for now is there anyone out there who is still dealing with their initial anxiety and or depression and wants to talk about it?  I think this is a very safe place to do so, and welcome others to share their story as to why they got on benzo's.

Sarah

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Good idea, smuel. I was prescribed klonopin to help me with a resurgence of GAD that troubled me in college and afterwards. Sadly the prescribing physician (like so many) was ignorant of its potential danger and I was on it for a whole year. The GAD stemmed from a PSTD experience that happened two years after my kid brother committed suicide. I was sexually abused as a child (age 8-11) for 3 years and my father was at that time in his life a very scary and abusive bi-polar man. Home was not a very secure place and neither was the neighborhood since that is where I was sexually abused. There are two ways you can "process" such abuse - you either blame the abusers or you blame yourself. This is often done subconsciously. I did the latter and, unbeknownst to me, developed a deep self hatred I didn't even realize I had. Nor did I realize the extent of my dysfunction until lately - the fact that I am a highly educated and successful professional allowed me to ignore it for many years. I have done a LOT of soul searching through this experience and discovered that the dislike I often felt God had for me was really my own loathing of self which I projected onto Him in order to sustain it (I mean if God doesn't really like you, then why should anyone?). Figuring that out has really helped me a lot, because I can now control a lot of symptoms that were being caused or greatly magnified by fear. 
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Well, I was put on Klonopin for insomnia, SAD, and GAD. So basically, I have always been one big fearful wreck. I know what probably caused this - many different chaotic life situations growing up, as well as my natural sensitivity. I know what I'm supposed to do about it (deep breathing, stress reduction, etc.) but I honestly have doubts that it will work. Maybe once I am finally healed I will be able to be more optimistic. I hope so!
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I know what I'm supposed to do about it (deep breathing, stress reduction, etc.) but I honestly have doubts that it will work. Maybe once I am finally healed I will be able to be more optimistic. I hope so!

 

Deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, meditation and the like are, in my opinion, naught but band-aids for people like you and me. You have to identify and resolve your fear(s). That is the only cure for us.

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I grew up in a fairly dysfunctional household. One of my parents was quite nervous and over protective, had been prescribed several benzodiazapenes that eventually (i've come to learn) probably developed into tolerance withdrawal. This led to rebound anxiety which led to panic attacks, agoraphobia... spiraled into seeing more and more doctors who threw a bunch of antidepressants into the mix. Eventually my parent couldn't cope with all the emotional and physical fall out and led to death before age 65. I believe the early demise might have been avoided if not for so many medications, particularly benzos.

 

My brother was born with learning disabilities and appears to be on the high functioning autism spectrum with some level of emotional disturbance. Growing up in this environment with an anxious parent and emotionally disturbed sibling led me to develop anxiety which I learned to self medicate in my teen and college years. Eventually I moved away but continued to have ongoing issues with mild to moderate anxiety.

 

Due to the early death of my parent by virtue of experience with polydrugging, I stayed away from medications myself, other than some alcohol use. A few years ago, not long after my remaining parent was diagnosed with cancer, all of the family was asked  to go on an International trip (all kids and grandkids). I was quite uncomfortable with the notion since my brother and I had not gotten along for many years but we all decided to try and accomodate this last wish of our parent. That is when I saw my internist and asked for something to take the edge off the anxiety and help with jet lag for a few weeks of the trip.

 

The doctor did not tell me to taper off the valium when I got back from the trip and so I ended up in the ER several weeks after my inadvertant c/t with vertigo (apparently just 3 weeks was sufficient to develop a dependency to the valium).

 

Over the years, I had read a number of books on CBT which seemed to help some with anxiety, but not significantly or in a lasting way. I have since discovered ACT therapy and Mindful meditation which have been more helpful. I have found Jon Kabat Zinn's book "Full Catastrophe Living" to be helpful as well as "The Mindful Way Through Anxiety" by Orsillo and Roemer.

 

It's a wonder that I ever took valium in the first place, based on my parent's benzo related demise, but I really did not expect that a few weeks use would lead to this journey of several years. I do agree that at a certain point, it can be helpful to look at the causes for taking the benzo in the first place, and try to make sure that one is working on developing coping skills as best as possible.

 

Vertigo

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Vertigo-

Thanks for sharing your story, I am sorry for your losses and misfortune with benzo's.  Good thing we are both off, and now we just keep pushing ahead, best of luck to you:)

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