Benzodiazepine Withdrawal is Horrific, but Necessary

Please read the following article. It is important to read to help you, so this NEVER happens to you. The article will follow, after my rambling and many words.

Oh yes, another article about benzodiazipine withdrawal. Unfortunately, it is on my mind due the fact that I cannot do anything other than write. I did go to my daughter’s show choir performance yesterday, because it is something I love to do and I love her. It was hard to be there, but I did it and once again had to act that I was feeling okay when I was not. I pray those days will be over soon.

This time I was not acting or pretending I was happy, when I was not. I am very happy, but my body is not. So, this time I had to act like I was feeling physically well instead of mentally well. That is a very nice change. Happiness is sure a pleasant surprise. I love feeling happy. I missed and forgot what feeling naturally happy felt like. Laughing the way I once did with  my children. Ahhhh…. the joys of living. So very blessed to be alive.

However, still complaining about Klonopin withdrawal. Here I go again. Really it is both complaining and educating at the same time…

I am detoxing from a prescription medication prescribed by my doctor for over 20 years and was NEVER told the adverse reactions my brain and body could have from this medication. I don’t believe my illness would have been as horrific as it was. I was ill from overuse and dependence from the medication I was on.

I want to research more about this, educate and help others, so no one ever has to go through what my family I had to for years. Benzodiazepines, especially Klonopin, are dangerous and never worth the risks and horrendous withdrawal symptoms I am now forced to go through.

Regretfully, I became a substance abuser from following doctor’s advice and now should go to a drug rehab to detox from this horrific medication. I am not going to a drug rehab, but they do have facilities to detox from Klonopin.

I never knew any of this information, until I was forced to research why I was feeling so terrible after I returned home from the hospital after over two weeks of hospitalization from a severe overdose. Even the doctors at Rochester Mayo did not warn me about the withdrawal symptoms after stopping Klonopin cold turkey. I am a little upset by that, because I needed and need this information. It would have been helpful and important information to have, instead of needing to research and educate myself about the withdrawal process I am going through right now.

You should never take a benzo longer than 10 days to 4 weeks.

I read different and conflicting information on the length of time it takes to become dependent on this medication and I am sure it varies for everyone. Bottom line, just never take Benzodiazepines and if you are taking them now, stop them.

The damage it has done is irrevocable. Benzodiazepine’s damage and/or wreck the lives of the person taking them and their families to a point of no return.

I only had one life to live, and it was changed or destroyed because I was treated like a lab rat. That is how it feels right now, while I am going through horrific withdrawal symptoms. The hell I am going through feels like I have the flu, times 32. It is similar, but different than any kind of flu you can imagine.

There is so much they do not know. I feel like a guinea pig in a research lab and the lab was my life. They are using living people to be lab rats.

Now, after an astronomical number of people’s lives have been wrecked and/or lost by suicide due to the adverse effects from Benzodiazepines, they have finally begun to wake up. It is a little too late for many.

I was one of the lucky ones, because I was blessed and God saved my life. I must wait my turn to go to heaven. Jesus is not ready for me yet. I am very thankful to have been saved and live the rest of my life to my fullest potential.

I feel impatient with this withdrawal process, because I am ready to start living. My mind is ready, but my body is not cooperating due to the horrific symptoms from withdrawal from my Klonopin. The scary part is I have no idea how long this process will take and if there will be permanent damage. I do not believe there are any answers because they do not know, not yet. Only time will time.

I know there is a beautiful reason for everything in the end. As soon as the effects of this detox experience end, which I pray is soon, I will stop complaining and will go forward with my life and make the best of the life I have left to live. I have a lot of living to do now.

Please read the following article. It is important so this NEVER happens to you.

Her story sounds very similar to mine. However, her detoxing sounds much worse than mine is, right now.

The ‘Hell’ of My Prescription Drug Withdrawal

Sedative withdrawal left me ‘wanting to die.’

Fiona French from Aberdeen says the prescription drug she was put on 40 years ago led to decades of suffering that only ended after a three-year withdrawal which she describes as “hell and torture”.

The 63-year-old says the benzodiazepine drug she was prescribed for epilepsy in 1975 led to a decade of adverse effects including attempts to take her own life.

This was followed by years of health problems and mental anguish during which no doctor ever warned her that “benzos” are a highly addictive drug that have serious side effects.

Prescription drug dependence

Long-term use can also lead to problems with memory and concentration, anxiety and depression.

According to government guidance, the recommended maximum time for which benzodiazepines should be prescribed is four weeks, to reduce the risk of dependency.

Doctors’ leaders have recently called for the urgent introduction of a UK-wide 24-hour helpline for prescription drug dependence.

Benzodiazepines – taken for severe anxiety, insomnia and sometimes pain relief – are a particular concern.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has said it did not support the long-term use of benzodiazepines other than in exceptional circumstances.

Fiona was just 20 when she was diagnosed with myoclonic epilepsy, which causes sudden jerks of the muscles.

She was prescribed the benzodiazepine Nitrazepam, a sedative drug which is also a muscle relaxant.

Fiona told BBC Scotland: “I was concerned about the sedative effect of the drug but, in actual fact, it caused me to become hyperactive.

“I really couldn’t stop. I had to be on the go all the time. Within two months I had virtually stopped eating. I lost a quarter of my body weight and I returned to a state of pre-puberty.”

She also made her first attempt at suicide.

Fiona says: “We did not link the change in my behavior to the drug even though you would imagine it was perfectly obvious.

“I was referred to psychiatry. That started four decades of seeing psychiatrists and being prescribed anti-depressants.”

Long-term effects

Fiona says that all her symptoms were put down to a depressive illness and they would continue to be for the next 40 years.

She says she lost 10 years of her life going in and out of hospital and being suicidal before eventually finding a way to cope.

She went back to university and did manage to hold down a job as a researcher in the NHS but she says she never had a “normal life”.

Now retired, Fiona says the long-term effect of the drug has left her with “cognition” problems in which she has trouble assimilating information.

Withdrawal from benzodiazepine

In 2012 she changed GP and her new doctor told her that Nitrazapam was no longer a recognized treatment for myclonic epilepsy.

However, the GP gave no help and advice on how to come off the drug and so Fiona attempted to withdraw herself.

She describes the withdrawal as “hell and torture for every hour of every day for three years”.

She says: “I became so desperately ill that I find it very difficult to describe what happened.

“I lost sensation from the waist down. I could hardly walk, I couldn’t have a shower because I couldn’t stand for long enough.

“I could not tolerate sound or light. My entire body was affected from the top of my head to the tip of my toes.

“All these sensations were intolerable. I just wanted to die.”

Millions of prescriptions for Benzodiazepines are issued every year.

Due to her history, the doctor again diagnosed depression, she says.

She was again referred to a psychiatrist.

Fiona says she was forced to find communities of people online who had experienced similar effects.

She is now convinced that she was suffering from withdrawal from the drug to which she had become addicted.

Earlier this year she says she had a “jolt” in her brain that seemed to restore “some sort of normality”.

She has started to write to experts on the subject of prescription drug withdrawal such as Prof David Healy, who is supporting a petition to the Scottish Parliament calling for action “to appropriately recognize and effectively support individuals affected and harmed by prescribed drug dependence and withdrawal”.

Doctor writing prescription

Fiona says she does not know if there were legitimate reasons for putting her on the drug 40 years ago.

But she adds: “It was disappointing that the doctors at the time did not realize I’d had an adverse reaction to that drug.”

“If I had been taken off the drug immediately, who knows what might have happened.

“I might have put back on the quarter of my body weight I lost, I might not have been suicidal any more, I might not have lost the next 10 years of my life going in and out of hospital trying to commit suicide.”

She says: “I do question why over the next 30 years no-one said to me ‘you may be suffering from the adverse affects of prescription drugs. This may not be depression’.

“Every single day of those 40 years I felt completely alone. I never knew it was the drug until I came off it. I have really not had any sort of a normal life and that is due to the drugs.”

Fiona adds: “Now I’m off the drugs. I don’t suffer from epilepsy. I have no idea when that resolved itself.

“I’m not depressed. I’m upset and angry and lots of things, but I’m not suffering depression.”

“There is a real lack of education around addiction to prescription drugs and the impact they can have on someone’s life in the long-term. The number of people addicted to these legal medicine is overtaking those tackling heroine addiction,” said Eytan Alexander, founder of UK Addiction Treatment Centres (UKAT).

“As these drugs are legal, it is often hard to spot addiction. GPs need to help with this education process and make people more aware of the risks attached to taking prescription drugs. They also need to monitor the use of prescription drugs among their patients and identify how they can help prevent addiction. ”

Copyright © 2018 BBC

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