The Living Nightmare of Benzopines!

I took diazepam, prescribed by my doctors, for about 25 years for the pain caused double scoliosis of my spine that first occurred when I was about 13 years old which was a side effect of the hereditary neuropathic disease that I was born with called Charcot Marie Tooth disease . No doctor ever told me that taking these would be something I would become so physically dependent on that when it quit working and I quit taking it that it would ruin my life and slowly kill me but that is what has been happening for the past year. I want to warn other people who are using benzopines in ignorance like I was that they will kill you. There appears to be almost no way to safely quit using them without the lack of taking them destroying your life. Here is a description of what is called Benzopine Withdrawal and it is worse than quitting Heroin, because it only takes a week or two to quit it. I quit taking diazepam on July 14, 2012 and I am writing this 11 months later, June 13, 2013

  This is from Wikepedia:

Benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome (updated 6-13/13)
Benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome—often abbreviated to benzo withdrawal—is the cluster of symptoms that emerge when a person who has taken benzodiazepines has developed a physical dependence and undergoes dosage reduction or discontinuation. It is characterized by often severe sleep disturbance, irritability, increased tension and anxietypanic attacks, hand tremor, sweating, difficulty in concentration, confusion and cognitive difficulty, memory problems, dry retching and nausea, weight loss, palpitations, headache, muscular pain and stiffness, a host of perceptual changes, hallucinationsseizurespsychosis,[1]and suicide[2] (see “Signs and Symptoms” section below for full list). Further, these symptoms are notable for the manner in which they wax and wane and vary in severity from day to day or week by week instead of steadily decreasing in a straightforward linear manner.[3]
It is a potentially serious condition, and is complex and often protracted in time course.[4][5] Not every long-term user will experience symptoms upon discontinuation, but the proportion of those who will has been variably estimated to be between 15% and 44%.[6] Long-term use, defined as daily use for at least three months,[7] is not desirable because of the associated increased risk of dependence,[8] dose escalation, loss of efficacy, increased risk of accidents and falls, particularly for the elderly,[9] as well as cognitive,[10]neurological, and intellectual impairments.[11] Use of short-acting hypnotics, while being effective at initiating sleep, worsen the second half of sleep due to withdrawal effects.[12]Nevertheless, long-term users of benzodiazepines should not be forced to withdraw against their will.[4]
Benzodiazepine withdrawal is similar to alcohol and barbiturate withdrawal syndromes.[13] It can be severe and provoke life-threatening withdrawal symptoms, such as seizures,[14]particularly with abrupt or over-rapid dosage reduction from high doses or long time users.[4] A severe withdrawal response can nevertheless occur despite gradual dose reduction, or from relatively low doses in short time users,[15] even after a single large dose in animal models.[16][17] A minority of individuals will experience a protracted withdrawal syndrome whose symptoms may persist at a sub-acute level for months, or years after cessation of benzodiazepines. The likelihood of developing a protracted withdrawal syndrome can be minimized by a slow, gradual reduction in dosage.[18]
Chronic exposure to benzodiazepines causes neural adaptations that counteract the drug’s effects, leading to tolerance and dependence.[19] Despite taking a constant therapeutic dose, long-term use of benzodiazepines may lead to the emergence of withdrawal-like symptoms, particularly between doses.[20] When the drug is discontinued or the dosage reduced,withdrawal symptoms may appear and remain until the body reverses the physiological adaptations.[21] These rebound symptoms may be identical to the symptoms for which the drug was initially taken, or may be part of discontinuation symptoms.[22] In severe cases, the withdrawal reaction may exacerbate or resemble serious psychiatric and medical conditions, such as maniaschizophrenia, and, especially at high doses, seizure disorders.[23] Failure to recognize discontinuation symptoms can lead to false evidence for the need to take benzodiazepines, which in turn leads to withdrawal failure and reinstatement of benzodiazepines, often to higher doses.[23]
Awareness of the withdrawal reactions, individualized taper strategies according to withdrawal severity, the addition of alternative strategies such as reassurance and referral to benzodiazepine withdrawal support groups, all increase the success rate of withdrawal.
IF THAT ISN’T ENOUGH TO SCARE YOU TO DEATH IT SHOULD!!!!!!!!!!!
 I am so scared, I can’t function any more, I do not want to die but I can’t see this ending any other way right now.  There is no way I could ever have imagined this nightmarish life I am now trying to survive in my wildest dreams ever happening to me. I spent my whole life working from the age of 18 until I was forced to retire because the hereditary disease that I was born with forced me to six years ago and I took the early retirement of Social Security Disability, but I did work for over 30 years so it is just enough to squeak by on. Unfortunately that was not the worst that could happen to me, the valium withdrawals are what is killing me slowing and I am just trying to survive one hour at a time, I am not living because if I were living I would have fun and there is nothing fun in forcing yourself to survive. As tough as this is I still do not want to die, I have never contemplated suicide no matter how bad things have been but nothing in my life prepared me for how to deal with the brain damage caused by benzopine withdrawal and there is no way you could ever be prepared for it. Imagine your worst fears about not being able to walk, talk, sleep, eat and multiply them by three and you might be close to the reality. Imagine standing up and having your legs feel like rubber and then try to move your rubber legs, they bend just like rubber and you are filled with fear. What if they stay like rubber? That means I can’t even go to the store to get groceries. This brings panic as well it should! What do I do? I live alone and there is no one to take care of me or my pets and for good reasons I am freaking out. I guess if I was rich I could pay someone to take care of me and the animals but I am not rich and I don’t know how to hire someone to take care of us even if I was rich. I have never been more scared of anything in my whole life but I do really want to survive, there has got to be a way if there is a will, doesn’t there? I want my life back, I didn’t do anything wrong and I deserve this. What kind of a god would punish me for things that I didn’t do? I do not understand but I am not ready to quit trying to survive. There has got to be a way I can make it, there has to be because I never did anything wrong, I being punished for sins that were committed by my parents and how is that fair? I will survive, I have to, all of my pets are depending on me. I do not know what to do. If anyone reading this has survived this please let me know how you did it? Thank you.
 UPDATE: JULY 3, 2013
It has now been a year since I quit taking diazepam and for the last several weeks I am finally feeling somewhat stabilized. I don’t know how much I have lost as far as my muscles go that I can’t build back but at least I can start going forward. This is the most bizarre and scary thing I have ever gone through. If anyone else is going through this let me tell you that it does appear that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I sure hope the worst is over because a year in hell was very hard to make it through.

ANOTHER UPDATE: JULY 23, 2013

Good News,Bad News-the good news is that after a year of sometimes barely being able to walk, ringing in my ears so loud I could hardly hear the tv and my brain so spaced out I could watch the same program twice in a row and not remember a thing, I no longer have ringing in my ears and can mostly remember a program I watched. I do not have my body strength back but I am getting stronger. The bad news is that it took a year of my life and almost killed me. Al I can offer those of you going through this is that if you can manage to hang on it will get better, but not until after you almost lose everything. Unfortunately from reading everyone else’s account of going through this that is the norm. If you are strong enough to make it through the year there is a light at the end and hopefully you won’t have lost everything by the time you get there. I am glad I am on the other side coming out but I am far from done as far as reclaiming my life. At least now I do see some progress and I am hopeful, especially since I have cats and dogs depending on my survival for their survival. Without their love I would have never made it this far. To any of you going through this, or contemplating it I do recommend you do it even though it has been a nightmare but if you have a choice go off the benzopines slowly, but never go back on them if you can help it because it will just make the process take longer and you don’t want that!  

ANOTHER UPDATE: JULY 23, 2013

Good News,Bad News-the good news is that after a year of sometimes barely being able to walk, ringing in my ears so loud I could hardly hear the tv and my brain so spaced out I could watch the same program twice in a row and not remember a thing, I no longer have ringing in my ears and can mostly remember a program I watched. I do not have my body strength back but I am getting stronger. The bad news is that it took a year of my life and almost killed me. Al I can offer those of you going through this is that if you can manage to hang on it will get better, but not until after you almost lose everything. Unfortunately from reading everyone else’s account of going through this that is the norm. If you are strong enough to make it through the year there is a light at the end and hopefully you won’t have lost everything by the time you get there. I am glad I am on the other side coming out but I am far from done as far as reclaiming my life. At least now I do see some progress and I am hopeful, especially since I have cats and dogs depending on my survival for their survival. Without their love I would have never made it this far. To any of you going through this, or contemplating it I do recommend you do it even though it has been a nightmare but if you have a choice go off the benzopines slowly, but never go back on them if you can help it because it will just make the process take longer and you don’t want that!  

 

 

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