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Thread: Benzo Taper

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    ChasingBalloons's Avatar Organized Mess
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    Benzo Taper

    Has anyone had to taper off a benzo? What was your experience like? I'm currently almost on week 5 of a 10 week (yeah, right) taper. Overall, it's been better than I thought, but still rough. I was given gabapentin to help with withdrawal symptoms, etc. and I feel like it would be more difficult without it. I can definitely feel the difference as the weeks go on and I'm so nervous about reaching the end. I know that it's going to be more than 10 weeks. The APRN @ my doctors office said I should be okay by week 11 and afterwards, I was thinking, "Yeah, no." And then when I finally had my first appt. with a psychiatrist, she was like, "Yeah, no." I mean to the point where I would have to crush them up and drink them in water? That's what it sounded like, but I was confused, so I don't know. It definitely makes things more difficult, like my job, etc. I definitely feel more anxious and it's hard sometimes to not just take more of the benzo, but I know in the end this is for the best and I am trying to stick to the schedule. It's just rough- I've been on it for like 4 years and it's been the best thing ever while also being the worst thing ever. I'm starting to just vent now...but yeah any stories, thoughts, support, etc. would be welcome, lol. It's hard being this open...

    Also- the benzo is clonazepam also know as klonopin. I was allowed to take 2-4mg/day and I misused it/abused it for pretty much the whole time I was on it...

    I will probably regret posting this, lol.

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    Total Eclipse's Avatar Happy Sparkles and Coffee
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    How much gabapentin do you take? Is it daily? That might be able to be upped to help. Its a good calming medicine.
    Blessed Be, in both Light and Darkness.
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    When you are tapering any kind of medication you can what is known as ' rebound anxiety '. What is this? Glad you asked. It is simply anxiety about not using the medication any more. So in a sense it is all in the mind. Bit like the mind knows you are stopping something you have depended on for so long. So it sends out signals of anxiety. Making you believe this is not right. Making you feel horrible. The way your mind thinks it should be feeling without the medication.

    I once came off of Xanax. I was on a high dose and abusing it too. Thus meaning I was taken up to three times what I was meant to be taken. I came off it under the watchful eyes of some medical people. I was in hospital at the time. They had a very smart way of doing things. They simply put me on something else. At a much higher dose. Stopped the Xanax from day 1. My mind was hopping. Not knowing what this would do. Rebound anxiety at work. They were smart people. It worked. I didn't even feel the need for Xanax. Once they knew the Xanax was out of my system and I was passed a certain point, they began to lower the new medication down. This they kept on doing every day. Less and less of the newer medication each day. Which can continue until you are off the newer medication. You are not on it long enough for the body to need it or crave it. Before you know you can find yourself off all medication. Surprised that this all worked. Surprised that you felt nothing at all. No withdrawal symptoms at all.

    What I talk about up above was done in a hospital. You are at home. But the same method could work if you were allowed use it by a doctor. But most of what you feel will be from rebound anxiety. The mind and body knowing you are no longer using something you used for years. I recall missing a dose of Xanax one night. Now that was a living hell. That is what I expected when I was taken off them for good. To feel that same way. It never happened. The mind will play tricks on you. Will be rough ride. For a few weeks. Probably want to smash the house up the odd day or two. Mood swings and the likes. But once you got off it, you can come back here and boast about it to us all.

    Wishing you all the best.
    The Lovable Irish Rogue

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    Quote Cuchculan View Post
    When you are tapering any kind of medication you can what is known as ' rebound anxiety '. What is this? Glad you asked. It is simply anxiety about not using the medication any more. So in a sense it is all in the mind. Bit like the mind knows you are stopping something you have depended on for so long. So it sends out signals of anxiety. Making you believe this is not right. Making you feel horrible. The way your mind thinks it should be feeling without the medication.

    I once came off of Xanax. I was on a high dose and abusing it too. Thus meaning I was taken up to three times what I was meant to be taken. I came off it under the watchful eyes of some medical people. I was in hospital at the time. They had a very smart way of doing things. They simply put me on something else. At a much higher dose. Stopped the Xanax from day 1. My mind was hopping. Not knowing what this would do. Rebound anxiety at work. They were smart people. It worked. I didn't even feel the need for Xanax. Once they knew the Xanax was out of my system and I was passed a certain point, they began to lower the new medication down. This they kept on doing every day. Less and less of the newer medication each day. Which can continue until you are off the newer medication. You are not on it long enough for the body to need it or crave it. Before you know you can find yourself off all medication. Surprised that this all worked. Surprised that you felt nothing at all. No withdrawal symptoms at all.

    What I talk about up above was done in a hospital. You are at home. But the same method could work if you were allowed use it by a doctor. But most of what you feel will be from rebound anxiety. The mind and body knowing you are no longer using something you used for years. I recall missing a dose of Xanax one night. Now that was a living hell. That is what I expected when I was taken off them for good. To feel that same way. It never happened. The mind will play tricks on you. Will be rough ride. For a few weeks. Probably want to smash the house up the odd day or two. Mood swings and the likes. But once you got off it, you can come back here and boast about it to us all.

    Wishing you all the best.
    Thank you so much for your response and sharing your story. It helps a lot and I appreciate it!

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    Okay, so the last few weeks of this have been extremely difficult. It wasn't too bad in the beginning. I stuck to the schedule, but by week 8 or 9 of a now 11 week taper, I relapsed a bit and it's been so hard to have self control. I try to push through, but it's hard when you feel out of it and shaky, so I don't know. I knew it wouldn't be easy, but I don't know how I am going to let go. It seemed like my brain was okay until now. Like, I think there were times where I may have been craving it, but now my brain is like mad at me or something, if that makes sense. Like, it's reached the point where the dose is too low or I'm starting to really feel the withdrawal. I don't know. It could be worse, but I'm just disappointed that I relapsed. Ughh. I guess it's rebound anxiety or something and I just don't know how to deal with it. I got so used to relying on something for years. So yeah.... things haven't been as great as I was hoping.

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    Quote ChasingBalloons View Post
    Okay, so the last few weeks of this have been extremely difficult. It wasn't too bad in the beginning. I stuck to the schedule, but by week 8 or 9 of a now 11 week taper, I relapsed a bit and it's been so hard to have self control. I try to push through, but it's hard when you feel out of it and shaky, so I don't know. I knew it wouldn't be easy, but I don't know how I am going to let go. It seemed like my brain was okay until now. Like, I think there were times where I may have been craving it, but now my brain is like mad at me or something, if that makes sense. Like, it's reached the point where the dose is too low or I'm starting to really feel the withdrawal. I don't know. It could be worse, but I'm just disappointed that I relapsed. Ughh. I guess it's rebound anxiety or something and I just don't know how to deal with it. I got so used to relying on something for years. So yeah.... things haven't been as great as I was hoping.
    Don't be so hard on yourself!!! It's going to take sometime!!! Have you tried calming tea's and mint to help nausea/ shaking? Have you tried some kava? It might help take the edge off.
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    Coming off benzos is an incredibly difficult thing to do, regardless of how much willpower or resolve you have to quit.

    I've withdrawn from benzos twice in my life....once I went cold turkey on my own, with no other meds to help. The other time I went through withdrawal in a hospital, where I was given valium to help with the shaking and sweating, headaches and very bad anxiety. I will never, ever in my life forget either time. It was that big of a deal, it was that difficult, it left me so, so incredibly dope sick. I actually felt sick through the worst of it.

    I agree don't be hard on yourself. This is no small, trivial thing your trying to do...it's a very big deal. You can do it, you can get through this it's just going to take some time. Distraction really helped me....whatever works....video games, books, movies, whatever.

    If you find that you can't do it on your own, I would seriously consider checking into a rehabilitation facility. There is no shame in doing that. I was in the hospital with dozens of people coming off benzos. If you want to continue to do it on your own, I'd be very careful. Coming off Xanex too quickly, and on your own, can have serious consequences.

    I hope your able to do it, whatever way you choose....I hope your successful. If it helps you....I feel so free now that I'm benzo free. I seriously feel like shackles and chains have been broken and I'm free now. It is so, sooooo worth it. I have no desire at all to take them anymore, either. No cravings at all.

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    It is not a craving you are feeling. It is your mind knowing you are cutting down. I talked about this up above. Rebound anxiety. We stop anything and the mind will let us know. It will do all sorts of things to us. It is simply trying to stop you / get in your way. Throwing out false feelings. Even a smoker would go through this. Or a drinker. You do good so far. Just when you are ready to lower it down to all but nothing the mind kicks into play. Some might class it as a craving. To me it is the mind knowing you are stopping the medication and just about there. So it can whack you with bad anxiety or even depression. Oddly this can even happen to people who might be off some medication a while. Quick reminder from the mind. Take smokers. I know a few who have quit. A year off them and for no reason they feel like they want a smoke. Just try and get the mind under control. Distraction methods. It will test your will power big time. It happens. I seriously once forgot I was off Xanax. I went to get one in the place I had always kept them. This stuff really happens.
    The Lovable Irish Rogue

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