Re: Tapering off Ativan,need help,please!
Welcome to the Boards, glad your here and you've not done anything wrong. Addiction or dependence on Benzodiazepans or anxiety medications such as Ativan and Xanax can be hard because the withdrawals tend to make the reason your taking the med in the first place much worse.
Tapering is the proper way to get off of Ativan. If you settled on 4mg/day as your starting point, that's fine. Generally you stay on that dose for 10 - 14 days and then go down 1/2 mg each 10 - 14 days. Anxiety meds require a slow taper, they have a very strong psychological connection and if you go down to quickly the added anxiety will just be too much. The other thing you have to consider is your original Anxiety Disorder. Since it seems to still be a problem, you need to have some sort of plan in place to deal with it once your clean of the drugs, it won't simply just go away. So, keep that in mind, there are many ways to deal with anxiety besides medication.
When you've tapered down to a small daily amount, such as 1/2mg/day then you can safely stop the drugs and generally the withdrawal symptoms, while still there, are tolerable. At 1/2mg every 2 weeks your looking at 14 - 16 weeks to complete a safe taper. During the taper the anxiety can be worse, you can use relaxation therapy, breathing exercises, yoga, exercises, etc. to deal with it, I'm not sure what you've tried in the past. Many times it is easier if you have a Psychiatrist to guide you as you taper off the meds. They don't necessarily force you to take additional meds, if you state that you do not want that they can find other ways to help you.
This is basically the way it's done. I hope this is of some help to you. There are many folks here that can give you words of comfort and support as you go.