Author Topic: My Story: 50 Years on Benzos - Now FREE!  (Read 19948 times)

[Buddie]

Re: My Story: 50 Years on Benzos - Now FREE!
« Reply #20 on: November 25, 2016, 11:33:08 pm »
Awesome success story!  Congrats!
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 #21 on: November 30, 2016, 05:10:46 am »
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"


I was amazed that you described your last and successful taper as virtually symptom-free. That kind of goes against the commonly held belief in kindling, that each withdrawal is worse than the one before.

You mentioned Mitrazepine helped you quite a bit. I had to look up this medication as I had never heard of it before. It is described as an antidepressant with sedative qualities and compared to the others it is among the best. That's something I may need to think about using, as I have got down to a point in tapering where insomnia has become a problem.

Unfortunately there are possible side effects from withdrawal from Mitrazepine that sound a lot like benzo withdrawal symptoms. Are you still taking Mitrazepine and if not, did you have any withdrawal symptoms when quitting it?
« Last Edit: December 01, 2016, 12:23:33 am 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 #22 on: November 30, 2016, 06:25:43 am »
[...],
I was rinse ring the same thing when I read this success story months back.  Hope she's still checking this forum.
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 #23 on: December 01, 2016, 12:12:56 pm »
I was led to your story by another poster...OMG, you are a true inspiration and role model for persevering and making it through hell!!!
BLESS YOU!!!
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 #24 on: January 25, 2017, 01:46:38 am »
[...]:

Sorry for not replying sooner, only just come across your post!

Yes, I have managed to get off the Mirtazepine with no problems at all.  Cut 15mg to 7.5 for 4 weeks, then to 3.75 for another 4 weeks then stopped.  So all is well now.  I sincerely hope you have the same success yourself.  :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 #25 on: January 25, 2017, 03:48:03 pm »
What an inspiring story. Congratulations on your success and newfound health. However, I have a question when you say that your sleep collapsed. Are you sleeping okay now? or still struggling? I ask because as of now while I am tapering, I am taking amino acids and melatonin and they are working well on me; but I know I can't stay on these forever also; I wonder when I am done if I will be able to sleep without any aids.

Wish you the best! :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 #26 on: January 25, 2017, 05:09:48 pm »
[...]:

Sorry for not replying sooner, only just come across your post!

Yes, I have managed to get off the Mirtazepine with no problems at all.  Cut 15mg to 7.5 for 4 weeks, then to 3.75 for another 4 weeks then stopped.  So all is well now.  I sincerely hope you have the same success yourself.  :smitten:
Hi Susie  :hug: how long where you on the Mirtazapaine for?


Love [...] xxx  :smitten: :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 #27 on: January 25, 2017, 05:17:29 pm »
Hi again Susie  :hug: I have Another  question you said  in your story '' I always had to go back on them because I was so ill, so I would stabilise'' how long did it take you to stabilise? And was it a different amount of time or the same amount of time to stabilise each time you went back  on the Diazepam?  And did all you symptoms stabilise eventually ? Thanks  :)



Love [...] xxx  :smitten: :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 #28 on: January 25, 2017, 06:39:26 pm »
What an inspiring story. Congratulations on your success and newfound health. However, I have a question when you say that your sleep collapsed. Are you sleeping okay now? or still struggling? I ask because as of now while I am tapering, I am taking amino acids and melatonin and they are working well on me; but I know I can't stay on these forever also; I wonder when I am done if I will be able to sleep without any aids.

Wish you the best! :smitten:

I have no problems with sleep now to answer your question  :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 #29 on: January 25, 2017, 06:42:21 pm »
[...]:

Sorry for not replying sooner, only just come across your post!

Yes, I have managed to get off the Mirtazepine with no problems at all.  Cut 15mg to 7.5 for 4 weeks, then to 3.75 for another 4 weeks then stopped.  So all is well now.  I sincerely hope you have the same success yourself.  :smitten:
Hi Susie  :hug: how long where you on the Mirtazapaine for?


Love [...] xxx  :smitten: :smitten: :smitten:

I was on Mirtazepine for 2 years after getting off the Diazepam [...]  :smitten:
« Last Edit: January 25, 2017, 07:13:28 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.