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Old 05-28-2006, 07:01 PM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 60
happyhome HB User
Red face Benzo's 16 years...withdrawal symptoms ?


I have been taking benzo for Post Traumatic Stess Disorder for 16 yrs, for sleep and panic attacks, when all tricyclics, buspar and klonipin failed and in 1990 the only choice left was lithium.

This was from full testing in 1990 from my psychiatrist at the Baylor College of Medicine, he said he had to do what he had to do at the time, to ease my suffering, when nothing else worked.

Now I have lost my health insurance as a single mom and tremendous stress after working for 20 yrs at State Farm and was laid off.. and "no money" means need cheap drugs...and none are cheap.... and no doctor appt. Then the hurricane... wham, bam !

I went in the hospital being depressed/drinking after hurricane Katrina, and they decided I should get off the benzos in this mess down here, but didn't have the resources to keep me more than 5 days ? Not enough beds, food etc.......but there are people more worse off than me.

I am diabetes, thryoid, high blood pressure, you name it I got it...Of course they did not tell me the symptoms of this withdrawal, and it is scary if you are going through it alone....

I would rather know what to expect...

I feel like my skin is crawling, my stomach is a mess, and all my muscles in my body are tense. It is my understanding that benzo's stay in your liver for a very long time ?? Does anyone know how long it takes to get these medications out of my liver, and what symptoms I can expect ?

I am having my panic attacks with a crushing band around my chest.....I know what they are so I am making it, but WISH SOMEONE, could tell me when the light of the end of the tunnel is ? One month, two months......anything, that can ease these symptoms..... and of course, then I have no medicine for the anxiety disorder........they left me on nothing, and the PTSD did not go away....from the past much less now the future.

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Old 05-28-2006, 08:48 PM   #2
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 22
benzogirl HB User
Re: Benzo's 16 years...withdrawal symptoms ?

you are most definitely having withdrawal symptoms, everyone is different as to how long they will last. some a few weeks, some a few years. you were on lithium for a very long time. how long have you been off ? are there any mental health centers in your area that could help you? you are never supposed to go off of a benzo by yourself. you could have seizure, strokes, etc. it depends how long you have been off. if it has been a week or two, you are probably past the danger point. if you just went off, you need to go to the nearest hospital and explain the situation. do a search on the web for benzodiazepene withdrawal if you have recently stopped, i urge you to get medical care immediately.

Last edited by benzogirl; 05-30-2006 at 09:15 AM.

Old 05-29-2006, 01:27 AM   #3
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 78
Jonny412 HB User
Re: Benzo's 16 years...withdrawal symptoms ?

Benzo withdrawals can last a long time but no one knows why for sure. Some think it is due to them not fully detoxing, staying in the liver, fatty tissues or bones, others that they create neurological changes that are slow to reverse. I tend to think the later view is correct. In any case, people do get better and typically fully recover eventually. Look up the Ashton Manual, this will explain it. God bless and stay in touch.

Old 05-29-2006, 01:34 AM   #4
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 333
Podee HB User
Re: Benzo's 16 years...withdrawal symptoms ?

Do you mean Librium? You said Lithium which is for bi-polar disorder.

Assuming you mean Librium, the withdrawals can last for a very long time because these benzodiazepines are fat soluble. Hence they have a very long half life and take about forever to get out the system. I have been clean and sober for years and my drug of choice was narcotics. Benzos were a hateful substance I rarely if ever touched, so you know if a former junkie wouldn't touch them they must be pretty bad! They are in fact very powerful and underrated in terms of addiction potential.

Thank God you are getting clean from those. The withdrawal can last a long time, and even after that is gone there is a sort of rebound effect, which can last for up to a couple of months and symptoms can include insomnia, restlessness, chills and weakness. This is because your body and CNS are getting used to functioning without drugs.

Old 05-29-2006, 01:10 PM   #5
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 60
happyhome HB User
Re: Benzo's 16 years...withdrawal symptoms ?

I have been on Tranxene and Dalmane sleeping pills for 16 years, all for their long life, to stop panic attacks, and sleeping disorder, after trying everything
except LITHIUM ( sorry about that didnt take lithium)...and the panic attacks stopped..Dr. in Houston, Texas. There they believe in treating Anxiety.

While I was in the hospital, down here La. Anxiety Disorder is not treated, so the doctor just randomly decided to take me off of them, after 16 years, and then gave me nothing for the PTSD, and Severe anxiety disorder ?

Then when I left after only 5 days , the doctor said BE CAREFUL NOW WITH THESE BENZO'S ? What does that mean, I took them as always if I needed them for 16 years, with no increase from a doctor I had for 16 years......
He avoided my question which was , well am I off of them or not ? What
symptoms will I have, besides this crawling skin, headaches, etc.....and he said just dont DRINK with them, and be careful....

The nurse when I went into the rehab, said " You are going to be the worse drug addict on this unit ? ", and I walked in with my bible and such wondering what she meant by that ? I asked other people what they took, and they said LSD, heroin, and the likes, so I wondered what was she talking about ?

Do you mean BENZODIAZEPINES, are WORSE LIKE YOU SAID AND drug addicts even know to stay away from them ? Why ? I called my doctor
and asked what was he thinking, and he said, because of my EEG's he didn't plan on me ever getting off of them. He said my brain was in such distress when he took a picture of it, and said he put it in the PDR manual ?

My daughter was a cabon copy of anxiety disorder, and he put her on tranxene at 16, because her panic attacks finally brought her into extrinsic asthma....... the doctor from the Baylor College of Medicine, said it was
a small matter, compared to the suffering, and lack of work and school we were missing, even loosing my I guess now there is hell to pay ?

So far I found, taking several baths a day, helps, watching interesting movies, etc. but I live alone as a diabetic now, and I have to get to that grocery to get food sooner or later ? and drive around.... also, I went in the hospital with all those benzodiapenes, by alphabetical order, and doctor labled and came out with same....

Does anybody else out there take a benzodiapene for panic attacks ???
When the regular bunch of Paxil etc. has failed.....over the years ? Is it ever ok what my doctor did to give me benzos for so long ? I worked for 20 years and raised my children alone and led a happy life, until they were not a complete loss, but being off of them, like stopping of any meds, brings me back to my disorder ? Extreme anxiety, PTSD.

So I am back in the same symptoms I was 16 years ago. without medicine and scared, plus withdrawal ? One hospital I was transferred too, felt since I was 50, and my past was so severe with trauma, not to take me off of them, and said it would be too dangerous...and If that is all that it took, for me to be a normal human being they didn't say a word ?

So the debate goes on ? Should I take what the doctor gives me in Texas, where I moved from, to La. where benzo's are thought of as LSD, and go untreated, which will land me into panic attacks again...which lead to despair ? Now, after the hurricane, you can't imagine what my anxiety level is ? Open for ANY OPINIONS ?? OR HELP ? THANKS !

Old 05-29-2006, 04:40 PM   #6
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 78
Jonny412 HB User
Re: Benzo's 16 years...withdrawal symptoms ?

Originally Posted by Podee
Benzos were a hateful substance I rarely if ever touched, so you know if a former junkie wouldn't touch them they must be pretty bad!
You knew something I didn`t know. I had no idea any drug existed that could cause months or years of weird and debilitating symptoms after discontinuation. I thought the worst that could happen was that I missed a week of work. Try 2 & 1/2 years of my life and counting... Though I got off and back on twice. Am over two months off now and still am far from normal. And, ironically, I never abused the drugs or took them to get high, was only used to fall off to sleep at night.

Old 05-30-2006, 09:10 AM   #7
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 22
benzogirl HB User
Re: Benzo's 16 years...withdrawal symptoms ?

we need more technical information from you. we will be able to help you. please do a web search for the Professor Heather Ashton Manual. she is the leading expert on benzo and tranquiliser withdrawals, and her methods of tapering off of them are very successful. i believe tranxene and dalmane are both tranquilisers. all tranquilisers and benzos work on the gaba system in the brain. when they are stopped suddenly, you're body goes nuts. if the dr. in texas gave you benzos, this is to help you come off of the tranxene/dalmane easier. please list the dosage(mg) of tranxene & dalmane, also the amount of times you took them per day. also give us the name of the benzo you are taking, along with the mg. amount, how many the supply was for, & how many times per day you take them. let us know if you have any refills. the benzos will cover the withdrawals of the tranxene/dalmane, it just might take a little time for your body to adjust, since all benzos/tranquilisers work in a slightly different way. you sound very desperate(as i would be in your case), so please don't buy into the horror stories. it is not helping you in any way. we are all different in our chemical make-up, and no 2 people have withdrawals for the same period of time, or at the same intensity. remember, this will pass, your body will adjust to the benzo. post back with all the above information. we will help you to work out a taper plan that will help you to come down easier off of the drugs. you will probably want to share the taper plan with your dr. in texas, or la. the doc will ultimately be the one to supervise your taper. look up the Heather Ashton Manual asap. it is a life saver. keep the faith, you will be okay!

Last edited by benzogirl; 05-30-2006 at 09:56 AM.

Old 05-30-2006, 11:13 AM   #8
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 60
happyhome HB User
Re: Benzo's 16 years...withdrawal symptoms ?

Hi Benzo Girl,

Dalmane sleeping pill is the benzodiazapene I am trying to come off of.
30 mg capsule per night, I have 2 refills of 30 pills left.....

Tranxene is the other benzo I am trying to withdraw off of I took 7.5 three times per day.

I have nothing for the withdrawals.

I take one Seroquel at 200 mg at night for sleep, and this is what is keeping me alive, and when things get bad, I am biting pieces of it off during the day to try to keep sleeping....

My psychiatrist in Texas never told me to get off the benzo's, but I tried to commit suicide after the hurricane and the rehab unit I went to in La said they dont give out these benzos, so it was tough luck for me , and bad for me anyway, and randonly decided for 11 days not to give me any....

Since it is so hard to get them down here,and my doctor in Texas says he can't keep writing them from another state, I didn't know about the withdrawal and such. I thought I would just get off since I was 11 days into it ?
WRONG..............I drove to a help self group for 5 days, shopped, with increasing anxiety until the 5th day had a panic attack at the meeting, and I have been at home ever since......with those crawling skin, small anxiety attacks...I live alone and diabetic with no family, so I must get out and drive again......but I don't know how like this...trying to "think" about it, gives me increased I lay back down and curl up on my bed....

I have at least a hundred tranxene, (generic clorazepate) which is what I took 3 times a day.

So 3 drugs :

tranzene/clorazepate - benzo 3 times per day
dalmane sleeping pill / - benzo 30 mg per night ( so affects would last longer)
Seroquel / 200 mg per night

I was given these for severe anxiety, panic attacks, nightmares when other medicines failed....I had checked myself into a fine facility in Houston in 1990 to get to that decision........all anti-depressants failed....

Does this help ?
Thanks for your information and help !

Old 05-30-2006, 12:52 PM   #9
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 22
benzogirl HB User
Re: Benzo's 16 years...withdrawal symptoms ?

so then you are still taking the same amount you always have? or have you cold turkeyed the tranxene and dalmane, taking just the seroquel? this would definitely explain the withdrawals. you really need to look up the heather ashton manual on the web. it will explain how to taper. is seroquel a tranquiliser also? please do a google search on benzodiazepene withdrawal. i am currently coming off of 50 mg. valium. i was at over 100. i am tapering by 10 mg. every seven days. i tried to cold turkey for 5-6 days, and i had seizures, hallucinations, etc. i'm not exactly comfortable right now, but it's better than the c/t. what happened to the dr. who originally put you on all these meds in la, the one who said you should never come off of them? can't they refer you to a clinic for the unemployed? after that many years, you can't just be yanked off of them. i have many nites where i sleep 2-3 hours, even with the tapering i'm doing. plus anxiety, fatigue, agoraphobia. i searched the web for benzo withdrawals, and educated myself. i know to taper benzos, not c/t like i did before. even thought it's difficult, it's much better than c/t. there is nothing for the withdrawals, except to taper so that our bodies get used to being without the drugs. withdrawals are really just the body's way of healing itself, trying to get back to a normal state, although it doesn't feel like healing to us, it really is. please clarify; have you completly stopped the tranxene and dalmane, just taking the seroquel? if you completely stopped the dalmane and tranxene you should probably reinstate at maybe half your original dose so your withdrawals aren't so bad, then taper from there after about a week. what you really need to do is call a hospital and get a nurse on the line. every hospital has a triage nurse that gives people basic advice over the phone. explain to her how many pills of each you were taking, how many you have left, and what should you do. normally, they would tell you to cut/taper one at a time. if you have no way of getting any more refills, you are going to have to taper all of them at the same time, so that when you are out, you will be on a lesser dose at that time, and the withdrawals won't be so bad. look up the ashton manual, call a hospital nurse, then post back and let me know what info you got. i'll be checking for your messages.

Old 05-30-2006, 07:15 PM   #10
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 60
happyhome HB User
Re: Benzo's 16 years...withdrawal symptoms ?

Hi BenzoGirl,

Yes a nurse and doctor cold - turkeyed me off tranxene and Dalmane from a rehab unit where they took me off cold turkey.....I suffered horrible in there, and signed myself out on the 11th day........ my blood pressure was 195/95 and my pulse was 141 ...they gave me one ativan, THIS IS LA. THINKING, you are a drug addict so suffer...I had nurses and a doctor that was loaded and could barely stay awake............HEALTH CARE HERE WITHOUT INSURANCE IS HORRIBLE.. it was a charity institution, and they dealt more with Heroin, LSD, etc. this WAS the place for the unemployed.....

That is why I keep my Dr. in Houston, Texas even though I have been here a year and a half...

However, to get me off the Dalmane sleeping pills my Houston doctor gave me Seroquel 7 years ago, and then I went unemployed, and I found out they were $745.00 a bottle !!! What are these doctors thinking when they issue this stuff to a single mom, WHO THEY KNOW IS LOOSING INSURANCE ? They will hand out any drug, like candy and have no idea how much it costs ? Now, I look that up online, and it also is stored in the liver, for a long, long time, so I will have to withdraw off this eventually since my liver is full of fat and stuff they said, and all this benzodiazapene in tissues etc.

So he put me back on Dalmane sleeping pills since they were only $17.99 for 30 pills......shoot that didn't put me to sleep over an anti-psychotic like Seroquel that erases you brain every night, and a killer couldn't wake you.......will have to get off this eventually too, since there is an FDA alert for
obesity and diabetes on it, and I am both, gained 150 pounds and am now diabetic..........will deal with that lawsuit later..

He still issued me the tranxene, and since I trieded to commit suicide, he dosen't want to give me anymore, understandably.....I guess, but SEVERE WITHDRAWAL.....with no taper plan, was not given to me ? So I figured it was over.....but actually, I keep getting worse, to where I am shut in my home, trying to stay calm from panic attacks....and the eternal headache. That is how I know I am having a withdrawal, the headache, then the crawling skin, and anxiety for hours......until I go back to sleep again, not hungry, it feels like my finger is in an electric socket on low mode but continous...

I feel for you not getting enough sleep...I don't know what I would do if I wasn't getting to sleep....sleep has been my only salvation, I don't know how you are doing it .....

I tried to look up benzodiazepene withdrawal the other night on google and I kept getting sites to herbal remedies....I am not great at the computer, but I will look up this Ashton Heather Manual....I am sure it is there if you say so...and see if I can taper off, with the 100 tranxene I have left, and hope things dont get much worse...I wish I could just get the link but I know that is not possible on this site, so I will go search.....even being at the computer brings me anxiety if I sit too long.....that is why I check in only now and then...thanks for helping least I know you are doing it, and what you are experiencing....helps me know if I am making it,

I usually drive the 700 mile round trip to his office, to Houston and back, but right now I just can't....he will call me back, but won't be happy that I tried suicide....and will be just as hesitant to give me anymore benzo's...I find that Dr's when things go wrong, start wandering away, ( not calling back etc. )

I could call the Insane Asyllum I was put in that is hurricane ravaged, and they will be happy to pick me up. They get money for taking care of a Hurricane Katrina person, but it had VERY SICK, DANGEROUS, PEOPLE, WITH DISEASE AND SUCH.......the good hospitals.....are gone....for now...... they gave me nothing, and will not, but will just monitor my blood pressure twice a day.......and still they did nothing....I don't think they had anything since the hurricane, when I came out, they had stolen my money and debit card.

So like you , I am going to have to educate myself on it. The healthcare system down here is horrible, and both the doctor at the hospital and one I saw by myself, didn't even have class III narcotic licenses, to issue a "narcotic", they just throw the people in jail, or you have insurance and then you get the help.....well I am not in the HUMANE group for has been horrible to witness...and places within 100 miles are destroyed, or closed because staff is gone..

I feel bad now, hearing your story of getting off of 100 mg of valium......that is allot....and that is a long road for you know more than me what is up coming....I am in extreme anxiety, but the tight bands around my stomach are not as tight, as long as I stay there is the agoraphobia....this afternoon, my lip was twitching.....very scary...the seroquel keeps me sleeping, so I eat less, so I have not had to even take insulin...because I am not hungry.....but the skin feeling like you are sun burnt and peeling is horrible, isn't it ? Since a REHAB unit, let me go I ASSUMED THEY KNEW what they were doing, but then I found out recently
it is being run by volunteers, who stayed down here after the storm....and nurses and residents who would not be hired in another state......they are very out of date down here..

There is no where to run, and when I just called they just said they would take me back to monitor my blood pressure, but still don't expect to get anything for withdrawal, they just don't do it I can't expect any help from these ........ people ???xx.x.

I am playing "soothing music", on my computer, reading the bible, and trying to stay asleep....and praying....too fatigued to want to go out and get food, but I hate to complain with what you may going through. It would help if I had family or support, but I have just one very good friend, that prays with me every other day and calls to check on me....I will go look up, that manual now for the taper plan, and THANKS FOR HELPING ME, you are the only person that has helped me, and I know I write too much, and I can get you confused, I am sorry, I am just not myself, and very nervous.......thanks for hanging in here with me......I come to the computer to see if you wrote now and then..........I will pray for you, you are one of the bravest persons, I know and are suffering much.....and helping others ? I really appreciate you ! Thanks, and god bless, would like to keep up with how you are doing ?

It helps to get your mind off one's self.....and sometimes it is the little things that help....there was an addiction detox plan on the addiction board, speaking of staying warm with heating pads, nyquil for sleeping and such....since sometimes the healthcare system just fails us terribly when a drug is after 15 years or so , considered "outlawed and dangerous"...then dosen't give us an exit plan ??? The temperature in my home is 82 degrees and I am comfortable ? usually I kept it at 74......thanks for hanging in here with me.....bye for now....I pray for you more should be very proud of have come along way...your an angel .

Old 05-30-2006, 08:31 PM   #11
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 22
benzogirl HB User
Re: Benzo's 16 years...withdrawal symptoms ?

how may days has it been since you have taken any dalmane or tranxene?you were put on the seroquel 7 years ago to get off of the dalmane, but you still have dalmane? does this mean you were taking the dalmane and the seroquel and the tranxene all at the same time? why didn't you stay in texas? if you have to pay out money for a 700-mile round trip to see the dr. in texas, doesn't it make more sense to spend the money on a dr. in la? start calling drs. in your area to see if they will help you to taper off of the drugs. if you can get a nurse on the line, you will get a good idea if that dr. will help you. yeah, i know how bad withdrawals can be. i get severe depression, suicidal thoughts, cramping in my spine, migraines, the tight band around my head, etc. i have not had more than 5 hours sleep in a nite since 4/5/06, when i started tapering. most nites, 2-3 hours. i have no choice but to go through it. there is no way around it, except to go back on the pills. sooner or later i would come back to where i am right now, only worse. try googling benzo withdrawal, or withdrawal from benzos. i cannot give you any definite site info. look up the ashton manual before you google benzo withdrawal.

Old 06-01-2006, 04:33 PM   #12
Senior Veteran
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Location: USA
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rosebuddy HB Userrosebuddy HB Userrosebuddy HB Userrosebuddy HB User
Re: Benzo's 16 years...withdrawal symptoms ?

I am tapering off of xanax using the Ashton Manual. I was taking 3.5 mg daily and now take 1.5mg. I took it regularly for 10 years. You taper off of xanax onto valium and then cut in slow increments. So far so good. I am so looking forward to being off of xanax (and valium). Take care and keep the faith.

Old 06-02-2006, 04:26 PM   #13
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Location: UK, Cornwall
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Blasterboy HB UserBlasterboy HB User
Re: Benzo's 16 years...withdrawal symptoms ?

Hi Donna, glad to hear that you're still working away at the taper, I wish you ongoing success "one day at a time."

Old 06-04-2006, 12:39 PM   #14
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 60
happyhome HB User
Re: Benzo's 16 years...withdrawal symptoms ?

Hi there, sorry I disappeared, but I went to the Ashton Manual Site, and it was very informative, but I am shocked and scared at the length of time it take to withdraw off of benzodiazepenes......and just my LUCK ! clorazepatate and flurazepam, had the LONGEST HALF LIFE HOURS OF ALL THE BENZO'S UP TO 100 HOURS !....I sank and became very depressed, that It could take a year. With a proper doctor and withdrawal doctor dosen't feel that I took enough to make such a difference and has given me nothing..

I took clorazepate (tranxene) 7.5 3 times a day, 16 yrs...
I took flurazepam 30 mg (Dalmane) sleeping pill per night for the last 16 yrs

He gave me just Seroquel, and said that's it.....I was imagining the rest. It is hard to convince a new doctor you are not seeking drugs, and to get enough info on a person, for any doctor to issue withdrawal drugs.....since so many people do drug I am still on my own....

I am miserable of course at home, but is bearable, but I found if I take SOME OF THE DRUG, I have left, I have dramatically reduced the dosage, however that is sleeping and inside my home night and day....

The one time I went out to church, I had to take a 7.5 tranzene from having a panic attack in I am not sure I am making progress or not ?

Benzo girl, can you go out much ? I dont know how old you are so I don't know your responsibilities, but I have to keep 16 other drugs and insulin straight everyday, refill them, and drive to get, them , drive to get food, just DRIVING brings on extreme anxiety........although I am glad I am trying....

I am shocked, that the rehab unit I was in did a cold turkey, when the information said I could have died, and I almost felt like I would on the 11th day had I not signed myself out. They did not even know how to give insulin shots, or what a Dalmane sleeping pill was ? Educated professionals are scarce down in New Orleans, especially now after the hurricane....the hospitals are closed except for 3 packed ones, in very poor shape and understaffed.

My saving grace, is the Seroquel, that "soley", is giving me the sleep I need to make it through the day, to night and sleep again, but sooner or later, I am going to have to stop Seroquel, since it has been found out now to cause extreme obesity and diabetes, which I now have ! I used to be a size 2 and now I am a 5X !.........

Let me ask if the benzo's were given for a mental disorder, such as anxiety and PTSD, etc. these reasons for having been given the drugs are going to come is genetic in my family...the anxiety as severe with a few members agoraphobic....

Benzogirl, are you able to drive and grocery shop, pay bills etc. are is this too much to expect one month now after I stopped taking the drugs ? Because
I am making progress at home, but I am down to one hot dog, and some ham and bread.......and eventually I have to go to the grocery store in my new wheelchair sooner or later .....? Family members to not seem to understand my seclusion, I don't have a family that would understand all of this.....I have that "perfect family group", where weakness is not tolerated. It's ALL IN MY HEAD ......

Old 06-07-2006, 06:11 PM   #15
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 60
happyhome HB User
Talking Anybody have home detox for benzo's

I have read the Ashton Manual on detox, however, I am not going to get this help right now...I have to do it alone for now, doctors are scarce and bogged down here in New Orleans.

I wish I had the diazepam or drugs for withdrawal , but I don't.......

Has anybody done it alone ? I am, but is there anyone that did it without the valium ? I am already passed the "dangerous point" I hope in 30 days, but I still am miserable ? Small panic attacks, cold clammy feet, and skin the point of becoming scared to go out of the house, and drive from the high anxiety..unable to sit long enough to go to church...

I have no insurance, so, more doctor help is not possible, or more drugs....
Does anybody have any home suggestions, for fighting this horrible withdrawal.... anybody out there make it , or have info ? I don't want to turn back now ...

Took Dalmane for 16 yrs.... ( generic )flurazepam
Took Tranxene for 16 yrs...( generic) clorazepate

I noticed there was home plan for alcohol, is there any home plan for benzo withdrawal....

Thanks for any help.....

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