Author Topic: My Story: 50 Years on Benzos - Now FREE!  (Read 19950 times)

[Buddie]

My Story: 50 Years on Benzos - Now FREE!
« on: August 14, 2016, 11:38:01 pm »
It was back in the 60s - I felt overwhelmed with anxiety, so I visited my GP at that time and he prescribed 5mg Diazepam x 3 daily.  When I had finished them I felt more anxious than I did before, so went back to my GP who gave me another prescription- if only I had known the significance of that error then! What could go wrong?  These tablets were hailed by all to be a miracle cure for all ailments a "mother's little helper", the "[...]-power" music trend was all encompassing, the era of "free love" was in full swing and almost everyone was put on them, Mick Jagger and the 60s music groups were all on them - so that's ok then!!!!  We were told you could take them for life!  Well, that statement was correct in my case as I had one hell of a job to cease taking them over 50 years later!

After some considerable time passing Ativan arrived on the scene so it was decided I would be better off on this miracle drug!!!!  I first noticed something was radically wrong when, after missing a tablet, I would have terrible panic attacks but no GP at that time had any idea of the significance of that - in fact my GP said he couldn't understand why I kept getting so ill - clearly at that time they were in the dark too!

During this unfortunate period it was not realised that 1 mg Ativan was equal to 10 mg Diazepam so when my GP tried to swap me over to enable me to withdraw I became extremely ill with symptoms.  After some considerable time it became public knowledge that the swap-over calculations were wrong!  So I then ended up on 2.5 mg Ativan x 3 = 75 mg Diazepam.  Then came the addiction knowledge and the trauma of getting people off these drugs.  I then ended up having to take the equivalent Diazepam eg 75 mg Diazepam daily, then withdraw from that!

During the next phase of several years I made many attempts at withdrawal but they all ended in failure much to my chagrin.

Some years later here in Devon a group was formed called TASHA (Tranquilliser Addiction Self Help Association) instigated by a woman who had suffered hell herself getting off this medication and who had the foresight to try to help others.  These years were hell for me - we tried electro acupuncture, herbal remedies, relaxation classes, group meetings, all to no avail for me, I just got worse and worse!  I always had to go back on them because I was so ill, so I would stabilise and carry on taking them for years!

Fast forward to recent years - my GP told me one day, out of the blue, that these drugs were now classified and everyone had to get off them!  I explained my position but he was adamant.  So I weaned myself off them which sent me into a nightmare situation of withdrawal, horrendous!  I ended up literally housebound with agoraphobia, panic attacks, unable to eat, sleep or function.  I managed to make a phone call one day to explain I needed a home visit - when he saw me he was visibly shocked - I was 5-stone, emaciated and ready to die to be honest.  He then brought a Psychiatrist into the mix!  As it turned out he was marvellous, he was elderly, knowledgeable on the subject, he understood fully the problem having dealt with it first hand many times!  He prescribed 2 mg Diazepam x 3 daily and 15 mg Mirtazepine and diagnosed depression.  By this time I had become so fearful and paranoid I was terrified to take anything.  I had to pluck up the courage to swallow the darn things now!  One day I told myself I simply had to bite the bullet!  I stood by the kitchen sink with a tablet in my hand which literally eventually dissolved in my sweaty palm.  Finally, I got another one, grabbed a glass of water, swallowed it back, rushed into the bedroom, jumped into bed and pulled the duvet over my head like a mad woman (which by this time no doubt I was). I was amazed the next morning that I had survived the [...]!  Thus my recovery had begun until .........

A few months ago my GP decided in his wisdom that I should try to come off them again!!!!  I was full of trepidation but also had much knowledge now through reading posts on BenzoBuddies.  I knew I could only do it very slowly and also realised that the Mirtazepine had helped no end with insomnia.  I think that no sleep is a big stress factor - if you get a good [...]'s sleep it sets you up for the next day.

I started on my withdrawal of the last 2 mg Diazepam by cutting it into quarters, taking  each quarter for a month but when I got to the last quarter I crushed it, divided  it the best I could and took these minute bits of dust over two months!

I have had no symptoms over this withdrawal and I have been off them for 4 months now.  I really believe the Mirtazepine was my saviour because it's the only thing I have done differently from my many previous attempts.

I really hope this post will give some hope to others not to give up because, believe me, if I can do it so can you.

Best wishes to all on this journey - as the saying goes "NEVER GIVE UP"


« Last Edit: August 15, 2016, 06:32:20 pm by [Buddie] »
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: My Story: 50 Years on Benzos - Now FREE!
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2016, 01:32:51 am »
Very inspiring, Susie.  It's always good to see another Success Story, but to be well after 50 years is truly a beautiful thing to read...especially from someone who is behind you at 31 years of use!

Thanks ... this will be read by many who follow you in this bizarre journey.

[...]  :highfive:
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: My Story: 50 Years on Benzos - Now FREE!
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2016, 03:46:15 am »
so happy for you, Susie. You are indeed an inspiration.
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: My Story: 50 Years on Benzos - Now FREE!
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2016, 01:06:41 pm »
WOW!!!! This is truly astonishing and a VERY inspirational story. :smitten:
Best for the rest!
SC
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: My Story: 50 Years on Benzos - Now FREE!
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2016, 02:48:11 pm »
I'm SO happy for you!! Thank you for sharing your story, it's very inspiring, indeed  :thumbsup: Al the best to you and your family! You're a very strong person.
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: My Story: 50 Years on Benzos - Now FREE!
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2016, 03:23:53 pm »
Amazing! Congratulations on your new freedom!
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: My Story: 50 Years on Benzos - Now FREE!
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2016, 03:55:47 pm »
You should be really proud of yourself. What you did is an incredible and a HUGE accomplishment. :smitten: :smitten:
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: My Story: 50 Years on Benzos - Now FREE!
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2016, 08:16:03 pm »
Fantastic story! Thanks so much for sharing it. You're courageous and persistent, and I'm sure you'll inspire others here on BB who need a boost today.  :thumbsup:
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: My Story: 50 Years on Benzos - Now FREE!
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2016, 09:25:29 pm »
Wishing you lots of love and joy for the rest of your life!  Congratulations! :-*
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: My Story: 50 Years on Benzos - Now FREE!
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2016, 10:22:25 pm »
Amazing story, so inspirational. You are quite the trooper! I think I can do this too!!   Thank you for sharing, Susie.   :smitten:
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.