Quiting A Benzos…
This is going to be the roughest time of anyone’s life! I know first hand.
There are many groups and individuals out there that mean well. However there is a common thing in “Support Groups” that is to be warned about, and that is “They are all patients going through the same thing” – and what happens is it becomes a rigid one-size fits all theory.
So along with my trial and Error story, put this together and will soon add a video about it.
STEP TO CONSIDER
1. Are YOU really ready to stand on your own?- for a time you will have no GABA safety net to fall into. Thus you will need your own coping mechanisms for stress. Even if you have full support from others. You must be ready.- able to handle mild to severe symptoms. I don’t recommend looking them up because many of us freak out. So I suggest don’t.
(Coping Strategies will be linked here: (Coming Soon))
2. Support system– Facebook is a mild support system. You need physical support. People that shop for you, check in on you, hug you. If you’re okay with virtual help like Facebook so be it people are stronger than I am.
Best Groups I found so far: One is public “Listed below” – but there is a great private one you’ll get into when you’re in a good “coping” zone.
3. No surgeries or procedures using certain medications– If you need work done, do it without tapering.- do all you can to avoid steroids, especially injections. www.w-bad.org has a list of things that some people reacted to. This I agree with checking out. I FAILED! Got a Steroid Injection and made me worse.
4. Diet– start now with elimination process.- treat your diet like a taper low and slow- find a diet that works for you. My body needs carbohydrates. Others do keto. But don’t jump too quickly into healthy eating, whereas you will get withdrawal symptoms from that alone.
5. Taper Plan– cold turkey is not a plan– Although possible, some short-acting benzo like Xanax and Ativan can be very difficult when on lower dose. I’ll post in a way to do it if you HAVE NO OPTION. But I’ll also post in here below “How to change your doctors mind”… (Hope I get this soon in here)
Taper usually calls for a longer-lasting benzo. (Valium, Librium or lastly Clonopin).. there are more i’m sure. See:
Start with 5% plan- do research on what you’re taking and how you’re taking it.- Do not take one reference as gospel – seek advice from many, (While Not sharing what you already know and make a comparison.)
I have my own theories.- don’t go by a rigid schedule. I.e. cut every two weeks. Cut when you stabilize.
If you feel better one week after a cut, then still carry it out for two weeks.- if you don’t feel good at 2 weeks, take it longer until you stabilize. (You may have to reconsider your % cut)
6. Supplements– it’s pretty clear that nothing helps.- if someone claims it does, it’s either placebo or their deficiency in something.- CBD, magnesium, whatever may all be beneficial for inflammation but that’s it. Cannabis has been known to help greatly for sleeping problems, but some people have experienced anxiety. (See Benzo Brains Facebook Group)
7. What does help?– Time is the main key-
- Cardio if you can handle it
- Mindfulness medication (muscle group relaxation)
- Cognitive therapy, talk therapy
- Punching Bag
- Distractions of ANY Sort is one of my primary…
- Allow yourself to be sick with no judgement (if anyone asks – say the doctors ruined your medications – because it’s true)
- Steer CLEAR of what triggers you. People too!
8. Dealing with Symptoms- Always Remember – You are NOT someone else’s story. One person could have been on Benzo for sleep, another Anxiety and yet another for a brain tumor… So make no exact comparisons.-
When in doubt, Get checked out. Go to a doctor about your heart, or crazy head pressure, it Thyroid. Don’t assume everything is benzo withdrawal. Where it’s true, benzos are a great mimicker of every disease in the world… Why not make sure you don’t have some thing real. But don’t go too overboard. This is where Facebook groups can be of great support to discuss symptoms.