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What is happening in your brain?


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What an amazing post, Parker. This one gets printed.  :thumbsup:

 

I'm so glad your beautiful brain has obviously healed. It is a gift to the rest of us.

 

Thank you for sharing your knowledge!

:smitten:

Flip

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It is quite evident that in some ways you are a lot farther along in healing than I am. No way, no how could I have written something like that.

 

And I read the whole thing. I would usually pass over something that long but it was well written and contains lots of good info and analogies. I especially liked how you explained that our brains are not broken, they are doing what they are supposed to do under the circumstances. Something about that struck a chord with me.

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Thank you so much for your WONDERFUL post!!!!!  That is one of the most comprehensive enlightening posts I have read throughout this arduous journey. :thumbsup:

 

 

I wonder why some of us have a much easier time than others.  I would really appreciate your insight. 

 

Charlie :smitten:

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Charlie,

 

Yours is a good question. I have NO idea.  I have NO answer for that one.  I can't even figure out why some people can just "ditch" benzos in a week and someone like me is a year out and laying in bed like a moron in a wave. :)

That's just the START of my questions!

 

I also think that while these are all benzos, they aren't all the same medication. They work a LITTLE differently depending on the benzo - and the half life has something to do with it, too, IMO.  Like -if you take a short half life drug (like Xanax) once a week it's out of your system in a few hours- you may NOT adapt to it brain-wise.  But if you take a LONGER half-life drug (like valium) once a week, it's in your system ALL week and you're getting inhibition all week long - and even that may cause a neuroadaptation over time.  But then there are SO many factors to control for - what drug, how long, half-lives, frequency and amount, genetics, how did you taper, are you blond, brunette, or red head? :)  Seriously, even if you COULD control for all the external factors, the internal way each person's body is affected is just too individual. That's why - yeah - you could get this symptom or this one - or all of them, but it's unlikely you'll find anyone with the EXACT same experience.  And that's what we all want - someone who had it JUST as bad and can understand EXACTLY what we are talking about.  But it's not likely. What IS likely is that we all have the same brain parts. And if they ARE affected, the brain parts themselves do the same things in all of us. If my amygdala is hit and yours is hit too, we're gonna be scared of the moon together. :)  And at least in that sense, at least both of our amygdala's work properly!  Um - a little TOO properly thank you. :)

But at least we can look to brain and body structures to explain our symptoms. 

Why some people only have certain symptoms and others are hit with like - everything - is beyond me. I had mostly mental and some physical.  Others are like mostly physical but they aren't feeling like the raving lunatic I was.  Thank God for them. :)

 

I"ll never truly get it! :D

 

:)Parker

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Charlie,

 

Yours is a good question. I have NO idea.  I have NO answer for that one.  I can't even figure out why some people can just "ditch" benzos in a week and someone like me is a year out and laying in bed like a moron in a wave. :)

That's just the START of my questions!

 

I also think that while these are all benzos, they aren't all the same medication. They work a LITTLE differently depending on the benzo - and the half life has something to do with it, too, IMO.  Like -if you take a short half life drug (like Xanax) once a week it's out of your system in a few hours- you may NOT adapt to it brain-wise.  But if you take a LONGER half-life drug (like valium) once a week, it's in your system ALL week and you're getting inhibition all week long - and even that may cause a neuroadaptation over time.  But then there are SO many factors to control for - what drug, how long, half-lives, frequency and amount, genetics, how did you taper, are you blond, brunette, or red head? :)  Seriously, even if you COULD control for all the external factors, the internal way each person's body is affected is just too individual. That's why - yeah - you could get this symptom or this one - or all of them, but it's unlikely you'll find anyone with the EXACT same experience.  And that's what we all want - someone who had it JUST as bad and can understand EXACTLY what we are talking about.  But it's not likely. What IS likely is that we all have the same brain parts. And if they ARE affected, the brain parts themselves do the same things in all of us. If my amygdala is hit and yours is hit too, we're gonna be scared of the moon together. :)  And at least in that sense, at least both of our amygdala's work properly!  Um - a little TOO properly thank you. :)

But at least we can look to brain and body structures to explain our symptoms. 

Why some people only have certain symptoms and others are hit with like - everything - is beyond me. I had mostly mental and some physical.  Others are like mostly physical but they aren't feeling like the raving lunatic I was.  Thank God for them. :)

 

I"ll never truly get it! :D

 

:)Parker

 

I took 2mg's of Xanax at night for insomnia for 12 years.  I've been Benzo free for six weeks or so and have very few symptoms.  The most persistent and God awful side effect has been insomnia, but even that's starting to randomly even out.  I really didn't have any negative emotional s/x at all.  As a matter of fact, everyone I know thinks I'm a lot easier going off benzos.  It's just so weird.  I hope I don't get slammed belatedly. :o

 

Charlie :smitten:

 

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Great read, Parker. I love how you made the distinction between our MINDS and our BRAINS. I have often tried to describe my symptoms as feeling as if they are not "me." I might actually feel ok, my mood might be good, I can recognize I have nothing to worry about... and yet, there all these symptoms are: depression, worrying, obsessions, etc. I've gotten so used to them by now that I can recognize this "double-emotion" feeling. My "true" feelings (in my mind, the real me, I guess) and all that crap that's running through my repairing brain. It is the most odd sensation, having both your true self's emotions and all the wd side effect "emotions" (said in quotes because they are fake) running through your mind. I always fear someone will think I've got a split personality if I try to describe it to them  :laugh:

 

And if it were NOT healing, you would not be having those symptoms.  ANY part of the brain or body that needs to heal is going to "experience" something in the form of symptoms - and you are going to notice that.

 

Can you go into this in any more detail? I don't quite understand why each part of the brain actually has to give off such bizarre (ad incredibly painful) symptoms as they are healing.

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Charlie, my own personal belief about that has always been based on the fact that some of us are born with much more sensitive nervous systems than others. This is a scientific fact, and these sensitive individuals are found in all species of mammals. I know I am most definitely one of these "highly sensitive people." I always have been, and it has never been pleasant. Couple that with yet MORE nervous system sensitivity, and well... you get the idea. I imagine those whose nervous systems are naturally "tougher" (only for lack of a better word) would do better. Unfortunately, I think we sensitive people are by nature more likely to need to be prescribed these drugs.
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Parker, THANK YOU......... your thorough and complete explanation was fantastic!  You explained all in a way anyone could understand.    :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:  Hugs, Pattylu
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Wow!  Parker I couldn't thank you enough!  Your post made me cry as I have had another horrid day in this 2 month wave now and was wondering this exact thing today....I have been on here looking for info on what is happening with the GABA, serotonin, etc. while all this is going on, why it's taking so long this far out, etc. and this is exactly what I needed to help me through another day.  Seriously, it brought tears to my eyes because there are so MANY times I just want to make sense of what is going on, etc.  Thank you , Thank you, Thank you!
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Thank you Parker for that detailed but easy to understand explanation.  It all makes sense, but still so difficult to live through it.

Hollyms - I feel exactly as you have described as well.  I feel like two people...in one body/brain.

When in a window - my thinking is clear and rational and I know I am getting well....a wave comes along and my rational thinking goes out the window....except that  the thoughts are completely in sync with the feelings that I am having...fearful, discouraged, hopeless, depressed and anxious and so they seem rational at that time.  So weird.

Parker thanks again for taking the time to write that out so completely and logically for us.  I read your post this morning about the magnesium and I have been on the computer all day researching magnesium...just trying to find out what might happen if you get too much magnesium.  I have a heart condition and take potassium every day so I need to keep things balanced....but thanks again for all the info you post.  Much appreciated.

Hoping2BFree

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Charlie, my own personal belief about that has always been based on the fact that some of us are born with much more sensitive nervous systems than others. This is a scientific fact, and these sensitive individuals are found in all species of mammals. I know I am most definitely one of these "highly sensitive people." I always have been, and it has never been pleasant. Couple that with yet MORE nervous system sensitivity, and well... you get the idea. I imagine those whose nervous systems are naturally "tougher" (only for lack of a better word) would do better. Unfortunately, I think we sensitive people are by nature more likely to need to be prescribed these drugs.

 

That makes sense but I have a ridiculously sensitive immune system.  I had no allergies whatsoever until one day I took a Keflex (antibiotic) pre-dental and went into anaphyalactic shock.  I had taken that antibiotic for years with no problems.  Almost every medication I put in my mouth after that landed me in the emergency room in a life threatening situation. 

 

I have a chronic blood cancer called IGM Macroglobulinemnia and have had plasma pheresis several times.  That means they remove my plasma and give me donated plasma through a double lumen catheter in my chest.  I wonder if this medical procedure inadvertently helped me in some way. 

 

Oh, and I've developed intermittent RLS since jumping from Benzos.  Very annoying to say the least! :tickedoff:

 

I am just terrified that one day I'll suddenly get slammed with every s/x I've read about. :o

 

 

Charlie :smitten:

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Oh, and I've taken 1000mg's of magnesium every night throughout my taper and for a couple of years before.  I wouldn't recommend this dose to anyone without a doctors approval, though.  I take it as a result of a medical complication that resulted in a "prominent fold" in my small bowel.  :o

 

 

Charlie :smitten:

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Hi Parker- I just read this, and wow, thank you for writing this.  :) It's nice to have some concrete information about the physiology behind this, and it makes perfect sense. My dad also says thank you, I emailed it to him :) he really likes the image of the building being under construction. He does computer networking and takes care of a building so it was the perfect analogy for him. :thumbsup:

 

I love reading your posts. This one stripped away the feelings that go along with recovery, so I was better able to separate myself and JUST consider the physiology behind it. Thanks again, your positivity and objectivity are very refreshing.  :smitten: :smitten:

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Great read, Parker. I love how you made the distinction between our MINDS and our BRAINS. I have often tried to describe my symptoms as feeling as if they are not "me." I might actually feel ok, my mood might be good, I can recognize I have nothing to worry about... and yet, there all these symptoms are: depression, worrying, obsessions, etc. I've gotten so used to them by now that I can recognize this "double-emotion" feeling. My "true" feelings (in my mind, the real me, I guess) and all that crap that's running through my repairing brain. It is the most odd sensation, having both your true self's emotions and all the wd side effect "emotions" (said in quotes because they are fake) running through your mind. I always fear someone will think I've got a split personality if I try to describe it to them  :laugh:

 

And if it were NOT healing, you would not be having those symptoms.  ANY part of the brain or body that needs to heal is going to "experience" something in the form of symptoms - and you are going to notice that.

 

Can you go into this in any more detail? I don't quite understand why each part of the brain actually has to give off such bizarre (ad incredibly painful) symptoms as they are healing.

 

That is exactly how I feel--like I have multiple personalities. I have never heard it being described like that by anyone else. Does anyone feel this way? Like I can feel love and fear or anger simultaneously--a positive and a negative emotion at the same time. Bizarre!!!

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Oh Parker this is exceptional!!  You put my mind to rest regarding healing thru this

taper.  It was easy to understand even with my benzo fog.  I will have my mate

read this.  He tries so hard to understand but I think he has trouble with that when

he can't see a "physical sore".  He is an engineer and they are so in tune to needing

proof.  This will help him as much as it has helped me.

You took so much time to write this for us!! God Bless You!!

Pammy

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This is the best post I've ever read on this forum.

My amygdala would thank you, if it weren't so afraid.

My hippocampus would thank you, if it could remember how.

My prefrontal cortex is planning to thank you, but can't seem to get started.

My temporal lobes can hear the words, Thank you, Thank you, Parker...

but in reality, it's just the whirr of the ceiling fan.

My visual cortex thinks this reply is wayyyyyy long,

so I'll just stop suddenly right h

 

:2funny: :2funny: :2funny::clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:  :2funny: :2funny: :2funny:

 

 

Charlie :smitten:

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Charlie,

 

Yours is a good question. I have NO idea.  I have NO answer for that one.  I can't even figure out why some people can just "ditch" benzos in a week and someone like me is a year out and laying in bed like a moron in a wave. :)

That's just the START of my questions!

 

I also think that while these are all benzos, they aren't all the same medication. They work a LITTLE differently depending on the benzo - and the half life has something to do with it, too, IMO.  Like -if you take a short half life drug (like Xanax) once a week it's out of your system in a few hours- you may NOT adapt to it brain-wise.  But if you take a LONGER half-life drug (like valium) once a week, it's in your system ALL week and you're getting inhibition all week long - and even that may cause a neuroadaptation over time.  But then there are SO many factors to control for - what drug, how long, half-lives, frequency and amount, genetics, how did you taper, are you blond, brunette, or red head? :)  Seriously, even if you COULD control for all the external factors, the internal way each person's body is affected is just too individual. That's why - yeah - you could get this symptom or this one - or all of them, but it's unlikely you'll find anyone with the EXACT same experience.  And that's what we all want - someone who had it JUST as bad and can understand EXACTLY what we are talking about.  But it's not likely. What IS likely is that we all have the same brain parts. And if they ARE affected, the brain parts themselves do the same things in all of us. If my amygdala is hit and yours is hit too, we're gonna be scared of the moon together. :)  And at least in that sense, at least both of our amygdala's work properly!  Um - a little TOO properly thank you. :)

But at least we can look to brain and body structures to explain our symptoms. 

Why some people only have certain symptoms and others are hit with like - everything - is beyond me. I had mostly mental and some physical.  Others are like mostly physical but they aren't feeling like the raving lunatic I was.  Thank God for them. :)

 

I"ll never truly get it! :D

 

:)Parker

 

Firstly excellent post Parker.

 

One of the reasons there is such a variety of symptoms & withdrawal experiences is that there are hundreds of GABA subunits, all of which play a role in the release of GABA & consequently the other neurotransmitters. Each benzo binds to different subunits & has its own unique chemical pathway.

 

Each of those subunits in turn has its own unique genetic code so the range of variables is huge. The discovery that there are so many subunits is relatively new & researchers have only identified some of the receptors & their ligands, (chemicals that willbind the receptors).

 

Thankfully, in spite of not really knowing why, we heal anyway.

 

BTW, the amygdala is very involved in sleep wake cycles so dysregulation probably explains some of the insomnia mayhem.

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Charlie,

 

Yours is a good question. I have NO idea.  I have NO answer for that one.  I can't even figure out why some people can just "ditch" benzos in a week and someone like me is a year out and laying in bed like a moron in a wave. :)

That's just the START of my questions!

 

I also think that while these are all benzos, they aren't all the same medication. They work a LITTLE differently depending on the benzo - and the half life has something to do with it, too, IMO.  Like -if you take a short half life drug (like Xanax) once a week it's out of your system in a few hours- you may NOT adapt to it brain-wise.  But if you take a LONGER half-life drug (like valium) once a week, it's in your system ALL week and you're getting inhibition all week long - and even that may cause a neuroadaptation over time.  But then there are SO many factors to control for - what drug, how long, half-lives, frequency and amount, genetics, how did you taper, are you blond, brunette, or red head? :)  Seriously, even if you COULD control for all the external factors, the internal way each person's body is affected is just too individual. That's why - yeah - you could get this symptom or this one - or all of them, but it's unlikely you'll find anyone with the EXACT same experience.  And that's what we all want - someone who had it JUST as bad and can understand EXACTLY what we are talking about.  But it's not likely. What IS likely is that we all have the same brain parts. And if they ARE affected, the brain parts themselves do the same things in all of us. If my amygdala is hit and yours is hit too, we're gonna be scared of the moon together. :)  And at least in that sense, at least both of our amygdala's work properly!  Um - a little TOO properly thank you. :)

But at least we can look to brain and body structures to explain our symptoms. 

Why some people only have certain symptoms and others are hit with like - everything - is beyond me. I had mostly mental and some physical.  Others are like mostly physical but they aren't feeling like the raving lunatic I was.  Thank God for them. :)

 

I"ll never truly get it! :D

 

:)Parker

 

Firstly excellent post Parker.

 

One of the reasons there is such a variety of symptoms & withdrawal experiences is that there are hundreds of GABA subunits, all of which play a role in the release of GABA & consequently the other neurotransmitters. Each benzo binds to different subunits & has its own unique chemical pathway.

 

Each of those subunits in turn has its own unique genetic code so the range of variables is huge. The discovery that there are so many subunits is relatively new & researchers have only identified some of the receptors & their ligands, (chemicals that willbind the receptors).

 

Thankfully, in spite of not really knowing why, we heal anyway.

 

BTW, the amygdala is very involved in sleep wake cycles so dysregulation probably explains some of the insomnia mayhem.

 

Thank you! :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

 

 

Charlie :)

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This is the best post I've ever read on this forum.

My amygdala would thank you, if it weren't so afraid.

My hippocampus would thank you, if it could remember how.

My prefrontal cortex is planning to thank you, but can't seem to get started.

My temporal lobes can hear the words, Thank you, Thank you, Parker...

but in reality, it's just the whirr of the ceiling fan.

My visual cortex thinks this reply is wayyyyyy long,

so I'll just stop suddenly right h

 

Nothing wrong with your brain, Redevan

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