Off benzos: I’ve been off benzos for... - Anxiety and Depre...

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Off benzos

Cat314
Cat314

I’ve been off benzos for almost six weeks now. I ended up going cold turkey because my doctor wouldn’t give me another prescription and just told me to stop it. I am still very anxious and still dealing with major depression. I cry everyday and try to reach for something to relieve the tears. I’ve been this way now for ten months. I do see a psychiatrist and a therapist but I don’t get any better. Last my doctor spoke of ECT which scared me. I feel so scared and ashamed that I can’t seem to get better. Nothing but nothing gives me an even an inkling of joy. It is so hard to go on like this.

19 Replies

Wow, I can relate to this completely ! Is there anything that "triggered" this in you? For me I think infact i'm pretty sure it was my friend who I had felt security with , making a serious suicide attempt. She failed but the distrust and the feelings of betrayal on my behalf continue and have sent me into a pit of despair. I have actually been on benzo's continually now for more than 8 weeks. I've been drinking too. I know they make you feel worse in a way but they've kept me alive.

Going cold turkey must be so difficult. I would have to replace it with something such as more alchohol. I understand the feelings of nothing giving joy. I feel in a completely different space from most people that I meet and constantly think of ending my life but I just can't find the right moment as it is so hurtful to other people. That is the problem They will think they have failed. Worst thing is being honest is if it goes wrong. My friends attempt went wrong. I'd have been as angry now as I already am had it succeeded because I didn't feel she needed to do it with all the support i was giving her and i loved her and her family. I still love them but it tinged with this lack of trust.

Have you tried or asked for lithium at all? I am going to give it a try though not very hopeful to be honest as for me I think my problems are not chemical in my brain but just in my psychology. I have planned my suicide many times over the past few months but things have gone wrong and i haven't been able to attempt and then other people are relying on me and I feel I will let them down if I do this.

I do feel for you. ECT is a bit barbaric though it works for some, Lithium can work for some. Other than that try major distraction. This is what I am doing at the moment. I am trying to pretend I don't feel like this . I am acting as if I don't feel like this when I do.

Well done for the cold turkey. Now you need to try and think it out. Is there something set you off so bad ? At least recognising it may help or do you have cycles wherein you just feel down and drained as that could be bipolar which can respond well to medication.

Hope this helps and you can PM me anytime . Gemmalouise xxx

Cat314
Cat314 in reply to Stilltrying_

Everything you wrote hits it right on the nail. You’re right. I think something did trigger it off. I have PTSD and have been attending a trauma group. I think last Wednesday was too close of a hit for me. All these memories came rushing back. I’ve been dealing with them on top of the major depression and anxiety disorder that I have. I’ve been diagnosed with bipolar two, which means that I hardly get a high and it is mostly down. I’ve been on lithium but she warned me off it due to liver problems. Now I am on other meds. I’ve tried to commit suicide before and I will not try again. Because if you fail, it is worse. You are literally institutionalized and the depression becomes unbearable. I’ve tried this a long time ago. They say that once you try, you are almost at risk. What stops me is my family. The guilt and shame I would feel if I survive. My family wouldn’t be able to handle this. I don’t want to cause them suffering. They don’t deserve it. They’ve been good and kind to me. I hide when I cry. I don’t want anyone to see me like this. I am grateful that you wrote back. I am not alone. There is someone who understands.

Cat314
Cat314 in reply to Stilltrying_

And I try alcohol. Since it is available. But it doesn’t help me. It does not heal the wound. Instead makes it bleed more.

Cat314
Cat314 in reply to Stilltrying_

Thank you as this does help. I really do appreciate you’re ‘hearing ‘ me out. I am grateful.

Hi Cat,

I’m so sorry you are hurting right now. Depression is a terrible beast. It literally sucks the light out of everything. At least for me. Going off benzos cold turkey is HARD. I’d like to see you give yourself some credit for that. Remember you are now facing all your issues with no cushion. And that is a testimony to your strength and determination. I know the desperation to just make it stop. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve prayed and begged for it to just stop. Even for just 5 minutes. I’ve tried to self-medicate with alcohol but it ended up making things 10 times worse, so I just stopped. I know how stretched thin you feel. How fragile and heavy and raw and numb all happen at the same time. How you start to wonder how the body can possibly produce so much tears. I wish I could just hug you and say “It’s going to be OK, let it out, let it go. I’m not afraid of your sadness. It’s not too big for me. You won’t disappear if you let it out. It’s going to be ok”. You are not alone. We understand. Let us support you.

Cat314
Cat314 in reply to StarryNight72

Hi. Your words are soothing to my soul. At first I was crying while reading them. Then I reread and reread them. Something happened. Something different for a change. I’ve stopped crying. Your compassion and understanding touched me. You are with me and giving me that hug that I realized I so desperately needed. I realized how lonely I have been throughout this time. For all of you to hear my sadness and to share your experiences with such sincerity is a tremendous help. I am grateful to you. All those words you wrote, they are exactly true in describing my situation. To not be alone in this, to be told that, is more healing than anything else. To be able to share and get back this truthful reply. I appreciate that more than I can say in basic words.

Cat314
Cat314 in reply to StarryNight72

As I wrote before. It is true. I am still hurting. But that pain is given a chance to express itself. To be able to share the pain and to be understood is a gift even in the darkness. Thank you.

Stilltrying_
Stilltrying_ in reply to Cat314

We are all in pain on here to some degree or other. Mental pain can be excruciating. There is no denying it. Other people just don't get it. But I know it. We are not weak. We are sufferers. We keep on trying. Some of us give up. I am keeping on trying for now. There are enough connections in my life to make my life worth attempting. I have met someone in great physical pain. He says my voice sooths him. That is worth something. All I have to do is speak to help anothers pain. That is a reason for me to hang on to living for even if there is no other right now.

Dear Stilltrying,

What a beautiful reminder of the positive to all of this. Thank you. I always have felt like those of us with mental illness are the most empathetic, compassionate, caring people on earth. As a community of people who live with often chronic suffering that responds to medication at only a mediocre level, we have such insight on what it means to live with pain and suffering. I think this is both our blessing and our curse. The curse is the pain we harbor that really never goes away completely despite our relentless attacks with medications and every therapy under the sun. The blessing is that through our pain we have learned how to comfort those people who experience pain of any kind and we know all to well how to comfort someone who is afraid. It’s a beautiful thing to be reminded of this. Thank you.

very well said....a blessing and a curse. Many artists, poets, and other creative minds suffer from mental illness....Edgar Allen Poe, Jackson Pollock,Vincent van Gogh....

Hidden
Hidden

Depression can be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. It is not something we can control. Try and ride out this storm. Your life matters and has purpose. Stay on the forum. We care about you and while we aren’t physically with you know our hearts ache with yours.

Cat314
Cat314 in reply to Hidden

Thank you. I appreciate your words very much. Trying to ride out the storm.

Cat314
Cat314 in reply to Hidden

And thank you for not leaving me alone during this time.

StarryNight72
StarryNight72 in reply to Cat314

How are you doing today, Cat? Just checking in. 😀

Cat314
Cat314 in reply to StarryNight72

Thank you so much. In all honesty, I am not doing that much better but I am alive. I am trying not to cry and trying to keep busy. It still hurts and I know it will take time. I appreciate you’re checking in.

Hidden
Hidden

Do you eat well? How is your nutrition? I'm basically off my benzos. I worked hard at it though. Did a lot of research and realized how to help myself. My doctor agreed to help me because she practices both holistic and modern medicine. I titrated off benzos though. How are you doing withdrawals off benzos going cold turkey? That's very difficult and hurts. You might want to talk with your doctor about supplements. They help tremendously. I can't give you advice on what to take because I am not a doctor. But, supplements help and good nutrition as well.

Cat314
Cat314 in reply to Hidden

Very good and fair questions. I do eat. Try to eat well. Going off benzos like this is very painful. I am experiencing withdrawal effects. My therapist said that the first month is usually the physical and psychological effects. After a month it is psychologically effects up to 2(!) years. The physical was awful. Nausea, tremors, fatigue, vomiting, headaches and more. The psychological effects are actually worse. It is like having a band aid on a wound and stripping it open. The anxiety is maxed out, tears all the time. I’m having a difficult time, to say the least. I do take supplements. I appreciate your suggestions. I will try and eat better. At this point I have no choice but to go through this. Thank you for your response. It helps.

Hidden
Hidden

honestly, did I really help? My research taught me that a lot of individuals on benzos struggle with gut disorder. Almost all research now shows that healing the gut helps tons of people who struggle not only with anxiety but also people who have acne! take care.

Cat314
Cat314 in reply to Hidden

You did help. You made two good suggestions. I didn’t think of food before. That gives me a different approach to help heal my suffering. It is appreciated.

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