Author Topic: Non Linear Healing  (Read 1192 times)

[Buddie]

Non Linear Healing
« on: September 24, 2010, 05:47:34 pm »
  I have learned that recovery from benzo use is "non linear" meaning that you may feel better one day and worse the next.  That if you feel good one day, you can't count on bad symptoms not returning later.
 
  Why is the healing from benzo use like this?

  Why is it so back and forth until we are finally well?

   A skin cut doesn't do this, a broken bone doesn't do this, even recovery from a simple cold usually doesn't do this.  Each of these healings is linear - we have a gradual, non regressing recovery until we are eventually well.

   I guess nerve healings must be much more complex in nature in what they have to do to recover.
 
   What has to actually happen to the body to heal from benzo use?

   Any knowledgeable answers would REALLY be APPRECIATED!!

   I would really like to know WHY benzo healing is like this.
 
   Thank you in advance for any replies!
 
   My best to all my Buddies out there!  :mybuddy:

   [...]  :)

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[Buddie]

Re: Non Linear Healing
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2010, 08:24:05 pm »
I think you answered your own question, Sunny Days.  Benzos affect nerves throughout the entire body and the healing takes place in different places at different times and any given area doesn't get healed all at one time, like a switch being flicked on.  At least, that's how I see it.
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: Non Linear Healing
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2010, 08:32:46 pm »
Hello [...],

I saw your questions and put together some information for you. I hope it is helpful.


QUESTION:   Why is the healing from benzo use like this? Why is it so back and forth until we are finally well?


“The Ashton Manual” by Professor Heather Ashton, 2002

COURSE OF WITHDRAWAL

“During benzodiazepine withdrawal, symptoms characteristically wax and wane, varying in severity and type from day to day, week to week, and even during the course of a day. Some symptoms come and go; others may take their place. There is no need to be discouraged by these wave - like recurrences; the waves become less severe and less frequent as time passes. Typically “Windows” of normality, when you feel positively well for a few hours or days, appear after some weeks; gradually the “Windows” become more frequent and last longer, while any intervening discomfort ebbs away.”

“Vulnerability to extra stress may make symptoms last somewhat longer and a severe stress may – temporarily – bring back some symptoms. Whatever your symptoms, it is best not to dwell on them. Symptoms are just symptoms after all and most of them in withdrawal are not signs of illness but signals of recovery. Furthermore, as your mind clears, you can work out more and more effective ways to deal with them so that they become less significant.”


QUESTION: How long will a wave last and what about the intensity of the wave?


"The Ashton Manual" by Heather Ashton, 2002

“It is impossible to give an exact time for the duration of withdrawal symptoms. It depends on where you start from, how much support you need and receive. How you manage your taper and many other factors. With slow tapering, some long-term users have virtually lost all their symptoms disappear within a few months. Vulnerability to extra stress may last somewhat longer and a severe stress may – temporarily – bring back some symptoms. Whatever your symptoms, it is best not to dwell on them. Symptoms are just symptoms after all and most of them in withdrawal are no signs of illness but signals of recovery. Furthermore, as your mind clears, you can work out more and more effective ways to deal with them so that they become less significant.”


QUESTION: Why Benzos are difficult to get off of compared to other drugs?

“The Benzo Book, Getting Safely off Tranquilizers” by Jack Hobson- Dupont, 2006

“It is the down-regulation of the neural receptors that differentiates benzodiazepine dependency from that of all other substances. That is the explanation of why getting off these drugs can be so horrendously difficult for some people, and why withdrawal symptoms for some can last days, weeks, months, even years after the last dose of benzodiazepine is taken. It is ignorance of this aspect of benzodiazepine discontinuation that leads medical professionals-- even addiction specialists who should know better-- to misunderstand the plight of benzodiazepine users. All of their exceptional difficulties and often bizarre discontinuation phenomena are a result of the single problem of down- regulation of the neural receptors after exposure to benzodiazepine.”




QUESTION:    What has to actually happen to the body to heal from benzo use?
 
Professor Ashton. “The Ashton Manual”, 2002
Mechanisms of withdrawal reactions. “Nearly all the excitatory mechanisms in the nervous system go into overdrive and, until new adaptations to the drug – free state develop, the brain and peripheral nervous system are in a hyper-excitable state, and extremely vulnerable to stress.”

How stress affects recovery.

  This is what Ashton says about post benzo recovery, "Vulnerability to extra stress may last somewhat longer and a severe stress may-temporarily-bring back some symptoms. Whatever your symptoms, it is best not to dwell on them. Symptoms are just symptoms after all and most of them in withdrawal are not signs of illness but signals of recovery. Furthermore, as your mind clears, you can work out more and more effective ways to deal with them so that they become less significant"

One of the things we can do to help ourselves, as Ashton says, "Calm your emotions. Above all, stop worrying. Worry, fear and anxiety increase all withdrawal symptoms. Many of these symptoms are actually due to anxiety and not signs of brain or nervous system damage. People who fear withdrawal have more intense symptoms than those who just take it as it comes and think positively and confidently about recovery."



QUESTION:     I would really like to know WHY benzo healing is like this.

“The Ashton Manual” by Heather Ashton, 2002

Mechanisms of withdrawal reactions.
“Drug withdrawal reactions in general tend to consist of mirror image of the drugs’ initial effects. In the case of benzodiazepines, sudden cessation after chronic use may result in tranquility being replaced by anxiety and panic. These reactions are caused by the abrupt exposure of adaptations that have occurred in the nervous system in response to the chronic presence of the drug. Rapid removal of the drug opens the floodgates, resulting in rebound over activity of all the systems which have been damped down by the benzodiazepine and are now no longer opposed. Nearly all the excitatory mechanisms in the nervous system go into overdrive and, until the new adaptations to the drug-free state develop, the brain and peripheral nervous system are in a hyper- excitable state, and extremely vulnerable to stress.”


“The Benzo Book, Getting Safely off Tranquilizers” by Jack Hobson- Dupont, 2006


“The sole problem you are having is that benzodiazepines has interfered with one of your body’s most elemental function, that of attracting GABA to its neural receptors. The results of this condition may well present as a staggering array of withdrawal phenomena.”

“All of their exceptional difficulties and often bizarre discontinuation phenomena are a result of the single problem of down-regulation of the neural receptors after exposure to benzodiazepines.”


QUESTION: What is down- regulation of GABA?

“The Benzo Book, Getting Safely off Tranquilizers” by Jack Hobson- Dupont, 2006


“Professor C. Heather Ashton found in her extensive research was that, in some people, after exposure to benzodiazepines, the ability of the neural receptors to attract GABA is reduced. So, even after there is no longer any benzodiazepine in the body to influence the receptors directly, they still aren’t able to bind enough GABA to themselves to inhibit electrical excitation sufficiently. This phenomenon is called “down regulation” of the GABA receptor sites.”


QUESTION: Why down- regulation of GABA causes a vast array of withdrawal symptoms?

“The Benzo Book, Getting Safely off Tranquilizers” by Jack Hobson- Dupont, 2006


“Dr. Lance P. Longo and Dr. Brian Johnson of the American Academy of Family Physicians, wrote in “Benzodiazepines- Side Effects, Abuse Risk and Alternatives”, that:

“With long-term high-dose use of benzodiazepine……there is an apparent decrease in the efficacy of GABA receptors, presumably a mechanism of tolerance. When high-dose benzodiazepines…..are abruptly discontinued, this ‘down-regulated’ state of inhibitory transmission is unmasked, leading to characteristic withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, insomnia, autonomic hyperactivity and, possibly seizures.”

“What Professor Ashton determined was that even when benzodiazepine isn’t ‘abruptly terminated’ as described above, it still has the potential of down-regulating the action of the neural receptors to inhibit excitatory states. While this is a simple, uncomplicated difficulty, the function of GABA throughout the body is so widespread, so fundamental to the operation of a wide variety of bodily systems, that to have it impaired produces an opportunity for a vast array of possible problems to appear.”


QUESTION: How does attracting GABA play a role in healing or repair?

“The Benzo Book, Getting Safely off Tranquilizers” by Jack Hobson- Dupont, 2006


“Those who are in the throes of benzodiazepine dependency would do well to absorb that idea: the sole problem you are having is that benzodiazepine has interfered with one of your body’s most elemental functions, that of attracting GABA to its neural receptors. The results of this condition may well present as a staggering array of withdrawal phenomena, everything from insomnia and anxiety, which would seem understandable, to dental distress, difficulty breathing, sinus problems, twitching muscles…..the list is seemingly interminable and contains phenomena that would appear to have nothing to do with the nervous system. Subjectively, these phenomena feel like illness. What is happening to someone whose many trillion nerve cells are down- regulated because of benzodiazepine is neither disease nor tissue damage, but more like a mechanical malfunction. Therefore, recovery is more akin to ‘repair’ than ‘healing’. Being aware of the actual nature of what is wrong helps demystify the rather bewildering process of getting on with recovery.”


“The Ashton Manual” by Professor C. Heather Ashton, 2002

“As a consequence of the enhancement of GABA’s inhibitory activity caused by benzodiazepines, the brain’ output of excitatory neurotransmitters, including norepinephrine (noradrenalin), serotonin, acetyl choline and dopamine, is reduced. Such excitatory neurotransmitters are necessary for normal alertness, memory, muscle and a host of other functions, all of which may be impaired by benzodiazepines. These direct and indirect actions are responsible for the well-known adverse effects of benzodiazepines.”

I know this is a lot of information. I hope it is helpful.

I wish you well,
[...]

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: Non Linear Healing
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2010, 01:02:41 pm »
Dear [...],

  THANK YOU for your answer!

  This is what I generally thought was happening.

  This makes sense. (If Benzo withdrawal CAN make sense  :idiot: !)

  I guess when one part heals, another part is still "working on it".

  Maybe these strange and truly AWFUL feelings are the body trying to get back to normal.

  I sure HOPE SO!!! - Don't we ALL?!!!

  Love,

  [...]  :)

 
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: Non Linear Healing
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2010, 01:13:00 pm »
Dear [...],

  THANK YOU SO MUCH for answering each of my questions SO concisely!

  The Ashton Manual seems like it contains a "wealth" of information on this topic!  :thumbsup:

   I hope that folks will read this posting, as I am sure there are many Buddies out there wanting to know the "whats" , "whys" and "hows" of this whole CRAZY  :D, FRUSTRATING  >:(, MADDENING  :tickedoff:, FRIGHTENING  :o, AND EVEN ZANY  :crazy: PROCESS!!!

   Once we are all "repaired", as Ashton puts it, what will we have to talk about?!!!  :laugh:

   Much love to you BUDDIE,  :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: Non Linear Healing
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2010, 05:06:10 pm »
Dear [...],

  THANK YOU for your answer!

  This is what I generally thought was happening.

  This makes sense. (If Benzo withdrawal CAN make sense  :idiot: !)

  I guess when one part heals, another part is still "working on it".

  Maybe these strange and truly AWFUL feelings are the body trying to get back to normal.

  I sure HOPE SO!!! - Don't we ALL?!!!

  Love,

  [...]  :)

 

That is actually what I think is happening, Sunny, and I began to refer to my symptoms as signs of healing.  It helped me accept them psychologically and emotionally and I do believe that's what's going on: getting back to normal in fits and starts.
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: Non Linear Healing
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2010, 06:50:46 pm »
I must be the odd ball, my healing was, for the most part linear.  I would have windows, but I didn't feel 100% normal. They would rarely close but stay until the next window brought even greater relief unless I had a minor setback like a cold or that special time for women. Though I did have lots of other symptoms show up and leave very quickly, within minutes most times.

love
[...]
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: Non Linear Healing
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2010, 09:25:54 pm »
Hi [...],

  You are definitely one of the LUCKY ONES!!!

  I go BACK and FORTH  :-\  either during the day - feeling O.K (for BENZO STANDARDS) for a little while then have a  bad WAVE of something - or have a window one day and then having that window close for several days and feeling like I am back at square one!

 This is SO CONFUSING TO ME and VERY FRUSTRATING not to know WHEN this will all be over.

 There seems to be no real time frame for healing other than a few weeks, months, or even years.

 YEARS?!!!  I can't even FATHOM this!!! UGH!!!!!........ :tickedoff:

 With this NON LINEAR healing that I am experiencing "Who knows?!!!!  ???

 I am REALLY glad that this part of your life is over with!!!  :)  

 I know you are too.

 Thank you for still "sticking around" to help those of us still trying to "win the goal"!

 Love you Buddie,  :mybuddy:

 [...]  :)
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: Non Linear Healing
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2010, 11:36:29 am »
I look at it like this:  my poor body can't heal everything at the same time, so it picks and chooses which area to work on and when. This leads to a bouncing around of symptoms and healing, or the waxing and waning that Ashton describes.

Anyway, that's how my benzo brain thinks of it. ;D
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: Non Linear Healing
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2010, 03:13:31 pm »
Hi [...],

  THANK YOU for your answer!  :)  :thumbsup:

  Maybe when we have symptoms, they go away for a bit and "return", maybe the "returning of symptoms" is not the same area being worked on, maybe, it's that the initial area HAS healed and the "return of symptoms" is another area being worked on, but we FEEL the SAME SYMPTOMS because of this. (Yes, this is DEFINITELY A RUN ON SENTENCE!  I didn't know how else to word it!!  :wacko:)

  This was VERY HARD for me to put into words.

  I hope that you understand what I am trying to say.

  I think that I was basically AGREEING with what YOU said!

  What a WILD AND CRAZY RIDE!!  :D

  I DON"T LIKE IT!!!  >:(
  
  I THINK I'LL GET MY MONEY BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!  :tickedoff:

  Love to you BUDDIE,  :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.