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    Old 03-16-2004, 10:16 PM   #1
    Nuke59
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    Question Xanax (Benzo) Withdrawal

    Hello everyone, This is my 1st post here at Healthboards.com. I have a question about Xanax addiction withdrawal. Has anyone here ever had to go through the withdrawal process from Xanax or other Benzo's ?
    Here is a rundown of my situation. I suffer from Panic and Anxiety disorder and have for the past 8 or 9 years. In March 1995 I was put on Xanax and anothjer drug which I can't remember what it was called. For about 7 years the Xanax did a very good job. I was able to live a pretty normal life. My wife and I opened a Taxi service in our town and did very good at it for several years. One day while out on a call I had a panic attack. It came and left pretty fast. Then came another one and anothe one so I increased the dose of Xanax I was taking. It got to the point that no matter how much of the Xanax I took it was not helping. We ended up selling the Taxi company since I was not able to go pick people up. I was turning down more calls than I was doing. I got to where I was afraid to go anywhere for the fear that I would have an Anxiety or panic attack. People look at you in a strange way when you have these. I am now have agrophobia so now I don't go anywhere.
    Last July after doing a lot of research on the internet I decided that a lot of my problem was being caused by the Xanax. My body had reached the point that no matter how much of the Xanax I took I was going through withdrawal. I then started to tapper off of the Xanax and after a month or so I stopped taking. That was July 15, 2003. The withdrawal was very hard and there was a lot of body pain with it. Now I am doing pretty good but still find myself dizzy off and on. Part of the reasearch I did on the withdrawal process stated that it could take up to 1.5 years to go through it. Since I have stopped taking the Xanax I have not had any anxiety or panic attacks but find myself not feeling up to par. I still get dizzy and have stomach ache's pretty often and for that reason I talk myself out of going anywhere. Has anyone else gone through the Xanax or Benzo withdrawal and if so how did you do and how long did it take for the withdrawal to go away.
    I hope I didn't write to much since it is my first post but I would really like to get back to being normal again. Thanks, Barry

     
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    Old 03-16-2004, 10:55 PM   #2
    GettingWellAgain
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    Re: Xanax (Benzo) Withdrawal

    Barry,
    I also suffered from panic attacks and agoraphobia. I took Klonopin, another benzo, for about four years. Actually, I took Ativan for the first year and Klonopin for the last three years. I have been Klonopin-free now since, I believe, September of 2002. Or was it 2001? Lol. I really should remember since it was a major turning point in my life, but I have a HORRIBLE memory ever since being on benzos. I took other non-addictive medication after that, but now have been medicine-free for about a year and no longer have full-blown panic attacks. I would say that it took me a good 4-5 months to stop feeling HORRIBLE, 6 months to feel okay, and altogether about 8 months to feel SEMI-decent. And I still suffer a little bit. No longer do I suffer with any physical symptoms (although I have a few health problems now and I do wonder sometimes) but I suffer with my cognitive functioning a little bit. And I'm onlyl 19 years old, get that! Lol. I'm 19 going on 35. Anyway, I have a bit of a problem with my long-term memory ever since being on Klonopin. There are NUMEROUS blanks in my past and it's pretty scary. Also, I realize that I did a lot of stupid stuff while on benzos, but some of it I've been told by others and don't even recall it! And I WAS NOT abusing the Klonopin I was given. I was just on an EXTREMELY high dosage given to me by a very twisted psychiatrist. Although I tapered down very low during my withdrawal process, it was hellishly painful. I felt as if I was going through what heroin withdrawal is depicted to be like. I remember after the first 5-6 days without ANY Klonopin, I was hitting walls, crying hyseterically, I couldn't see, nothing made sense, I was delirious, shaking so hard I thought I was seizing, drooling, sick to my stomach, and achy among a million other symptoms. I truly thought I was going crazy. Now, it's almost like I have to re-learn how to deal with emotions. I was emotionally blunted all of those years on the benzos and other antidepressants, and now I feel EVERYTHING, which is really hard to deal with on your own when you had a pill dealing with it for you in a way for all of those years. I'm getting better, but I now feel that life is REALLY difficult. I know that sounds discouraging, but it is soooo much better than being a benzo zombie and having to deal with tolerance withdrawals and such. I think more rationally now, I'm make clear decisions, and I almost feel like I missed a lot of what was going on when I was on the drugs because now I actually notice things. Since you're in your eighth month, I think you should really start feeling better soon. The eighth month was the turning point for me. I think after that, things started getting a little easier. In one year, you should feel almost normal, but it does take a long time to get back into the groove of real life, especially after being agoraphobic. I was agoraphobic throughout most of my withdrawal process and every time I became tolerant to the dosage of Klonopin I was on when I was taking the drug. It's a very long, frustrating process, but you WILL get through it. Just be glad you're off of that poison! I hoped this helped some. I apologize if it's a little scrambled because I'm falling asleep as I sit here. Welcome to Healthboards.com, by the way. I have found soooo much help here, it's wonderful. Good luck with everything, let me know how it's going.
    Sincerely with love & hope,
    Katalina
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    Old 03-17-2004, 12:32 AM   #3
    Nuke59
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    Re: Xanax (Benzo) Withdrawal

    Hi Kataline,
    Thank You very much for the reply. Your 19 going on 35 ? lol I know how you feel. I feel much older than I am thanks to the anxiety and panic disorder and the Benzo I was on. Another problem I have which is common with people who have anxiety and panic disorder is OCD. I can deal with it pretty good but it is a bother sometimes. Have you noticed that people just don't understand you or the problem that we have. Sometimes I wish that the people who don't understand it would have it for a day or so just so they could better understand it. My wife is bad about it. She does not understand it and will not try to learn more about it. I have lost all of my friends because of this except for one or two of them. My step kids think I am waste of time and a loser. Well I do agree with the loser part. With agrophobia I am not able to work so I have not been able to pay my child support to my X-wife. Missouri has a law that if you don't pay your child support you lose your drivers license. Needless to say Missouri took my drivers license last month (Feb) for being behind on child support. I have always paid it up until I got real sick with this. Now I don't even have a way to go to the doctors office and when I do get better I wont even have a way to look for a job. Jail may be the next step taken against me for being behind on child support. A lot of problems due to being sick. The way I feel right now I should be able to look for work this spring but I will need a drivers license. Oh well. Life is tough.
    You are so young to be caught up with this anxiety and panic. Does it run in your family? My mother had it when she was in her 20's and my sister has it and she is in her 30's. I was in my 30's when I came down with it.
    Again, thanks for the reply to my post and take care of yourself. Barry

    Last edited by Nuke59; 03-17-2004 at 06:34 PM.

     
    Old 03-18-2004, 04:42 AM   #4
    Banker
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    Re: Xanax (Benzo) Withdrawal

    Barry - my thoughts are with you and I appreciate you telling us your story. I take xanax on a daily basis for anxiety so your story definitely is good for me and others to hear. We need to know what can and might happen to us either during or when we stop xanax. You know, you might can be considered 'disabled' right now since you cannot work and if that's the case, you and your children would receive benefits from the Gov. Might help w/the child support situation??? There is a good reason the gov has programs like this and your case is a perfect example of one who could benefit. Can you call to check on it?

     
    Old 03-18-2004, 05:58 AM   #5
    mouse62
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    Re: Xanax (Benzo) Withdrawal

    First, I was going to say what Banker said -- anxiety/panic disorders are considered disabilities and you can apply to government for checks. Don't give up after a rejection or two, either, it's SOP now for government to deny claims the first time.

    I am tapering off Xanax. I am down to .375 a day, from 1.0 back last autumn. Doing it so slowly that I have felt ok. Of course I have to go through the "final cut." My reasons for tapering are because of a scare I got more than a year ago -- my physician went on one of the walk-outs and had not called in my refill. After two days of no pills I had to go to ER, where doc told me that yes, at my dosage (1.0 a day), possibility of fatal seizure was there if I had not come in to ER and gotten some benzo into my system. I want to get down to .25 a day, probably before bed. I don't know what else to say except I have been on it less than 2 years so maybe that's why I never hit the stage of Xanax tolerance and all of the bad symptoms that go with it.

     
    Old 03-18-2004, 12:26 PM   #6
    mouse62
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    Re: Xanax (Benzo) Withdrawal

    I can divide my pills and get them to .125 mgs of Xanax, which I guess is 2.5 valium. After that, I guess I'd ask my doctor. But I don't think I'll be at that low dosage until May.

     
    Old 03-18-2004, 02:52 PM   #7
    yinksy
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    Re: Xanax (Benzo) Withdrawal

    Good going Mouse - sounds like you have a really good taper going there - "slow and steady wins the race"!
    Y

     
    Old 03-19-2004, 12:11 AM   #8
    Nuke59
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    Re: Xanax (Benzo) Withdrawal

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Banker
    Barry - my thoughts are with you and I appreciate you telling us your story. I take xanax on a daily basis for anxiety so your story definitely is good for me and others to hear. We need to know what can and might happen to us either during or when we stop xanax. You know, you might can be considered 'disabled' right now since you cannot work and if that's the case, you and your children would receive benefits from the Gov. Might help w/the child support situation??? There is a good reason the gov has programs like this and your case is a perfect example of one who could benefit. Can you call to check on it?
    Hi Banker, Thanks for the reply. The system does not always work for the ones who really need it and I am one of those that it wont work for. I go to the VA Hospital for my treatment and have done so ever since I started the treatment for my Anxiety and Panic Disorder and have had the same doctor the entire time. 3 years ago I filed for SS Disability due to the ongoing panic and anxiety problem. SS found me to be disabled back to the year 2000 even though I had been in treatment for it since 1995. That was a problem because from 1993 until 1998 my wife and I owned a small Taxi company. In those five years we did not pay into the SS system. In order for SS to pay me disability I need to prove that I was not able to work back to the year 1998. I did have a lawyer and everything was looking good. We only needed one thing that would have proved my case so that I could get the SS Disability. What we needed was a statement or letter from my doctor stating that I was unable to work in 1998 due to the panic and anxiety disorder. She refused to provide us that important letter and her reason for not providing is was "QUOTE": I do not work for SS and it is not my job to label you as disabled". My lawyer told me that she is the only doctor at the KC VA Hospitol that will not provide this sort of information when it is needed. Since she would not help my lawyer said that we would not be able to win our case and so they droped me. I was so ****** and still am at my doctor for this. I have asked her a few times since then why she would'nt help and her reason was more or less that if she was to help people recieve SS Disability then the person getting it might not make the effort needed to get better. She made a decision that will probably have a lifetime effect on me if I end up going to jail. If I have to go to jail for this I will then be a fellon which means I will never ever again be able to vote and other rights will be lost. It just makes me sick that in this country a person could end up in jail with a loss of his/hers rights because they became sick and not able to fullfill certain oblagiations. I served 5 years in the Army and I am very proud of that . I am very proud of our military and for what they are doing for our country. I am NOT proud of how our country helps it's sick. Im sorry for going on and on over this but I have looked and looked for help and there is not any help in my area to be found. Barry

    Last edited by Nuke59; 03-19-2004 at 12:33 AM.

     
    Old 03-19-2004, 01:01 AM   #9
    rosietee
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    Re: Xanax (Benzo) Withdrawal

    Katalina, if you don't mind sharing, how much klonopin were you on?

    thanks,rosie

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Solstice1221
    Barry,
    I also suffered from panic attacks and agoraphobia. I took Klonopin, another benzo, for about four years. Actually, I took Ativan for the first year and Klonopin for the last three years. I have been Klonopin-free now since, I believe, September of 2002. Or was it 2001? Lol. I really should remember since it was a major turning point in my life, but I have a HORRIBLE memory ever since being on benzos. I took other non-addictive medication after that, but now have been medicine-free for about a year and no longer have full-blown panic attacks. I would say that it took me a good 4-5 months to stop feeling HORRIBLE, 6 months to feel okay, and altogether about 8 months to feel SEMI-decent. And I still suffer a little bit. No longer do I suffer with any physical symptoms (although I have a few health problems now and I do wonder sometimes) but I suffer with my cognitive functioning a little bit. And I'm onlyl 19 years old, get that! Lol. I'm 19 going on 35. Anyway, I have a bit of a problem with my long-term memory ever since being on Klonopin. There are NUMEROUS blanks in my past and it's pretty scary. Also, I realize that I did a lot of stupid stuff while on benzos, but some of it I've been told by others and don't even recall it! And I WAS NOT abusing the Klonopin I was given. I was just on an EXTREMELY high dosage given to me by a very twisted psychiatrist. Although I tapered down very low during my withdrawal process, it was hellishly painful. I felt as if I was going through what heroin withdrawal is depicted to be like. I remember after the first 5-6 days without ANY Klonopin, I was hitting walls, crying hyseterically, I couldn't see, nothing made sense, I was delirious, shaking so hard I thought I was seizing, drooling, sick to my stomach, and achy among a million other symptoms. I truly thought I was going crazy. Now, it's almost like I have to re-learn how to deal with emotions. I was emotionally blunted all of those years on the benzos and other antidepressants, and now I feel EVERYTHING, which is really hard to deal with on your own when you had a pill dealing with it for you in a way for all of those years. I'm getting better, but I now feel that life is REALLY difficult. I know that sounds discouraging, but it is soooo much better than being a benzo zombie and having to deal with tolerance withdrawals and such. I think more rationally now, I'm make clear decisions, and I almost feel like I missed a lot of what was going on when I was on the drugs because now I actually notice things. Since you're in your eighth month, I think you should really start feeling better soon. The eighth month was the turning point for me. I think after that, things started getting a little easier. In one year, you should feel almost normal, but it does take a long time to get back into the groove of real life, especially after being agoraphobic. I was agoraphobic throughout most of my withdrawal process and every time I became tolerant to the dosage of Klonopin I was on when I was taking the drug. It's a very long, frustrating process, but you WILL get through it. Just be glad you're off of that poison! I hoped this helped some. I apologize if it's a little scrambled because I'm falling asleep as I sit here. Welcome to Healthboards.com, by the way. I have found soooo much help here, it's wonderful. Good luck with everything, let me know how it's going.
    Sincerely with love & hope,
    Katalina

     
    Old 03-19-2004, 01:50 AM   #10
    GettingWellAgain
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    Re: Xanax (Benzo) Withdrawal

    Barry,
    Obviously, I needed to explain nothing to you about SS Disability, you've been through it all. I am sooooo terribly sorry about your situation. I can't BELIEVE the doctor wouldn't write you a letter, wow. I wish you the best with everything from the bottom of my heart and will be on this board and ready to respond if you ever need support!
    Sincerely,
    Katalina
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    Old 03-19-2004, 02:01 AM   #11
    GettingWellAgain
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    Re: Xanax (Benzo) Withdrawal

    rosietee,
    No, I don't mind sharing at all. I went up in dosage over the years progressively, but the last prescribed amount I REMEMBER was 2mg eight times per day. 8 tablets was my daily allowance, as I recall, but in the end, going through tolerance withdrawals and such, the dosage was probably even quite a bit higher than that.
    ~Katalina
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