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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I thought drugs were the answer when I first started out on this SA journey. I would constantly research new drugs or obsess over ones that people said worked for them. After trying just about every drug in the book short of maois, I've realized no drug can change the way I am. I have to do that myself. If meds have worked for you, I think thats great, but as of now they're not for me.

I've decided to taper off klonopin after using it for almost 2 years. I feel like the downfalls outweigh the benefits. I can't deal with the mental fog it causes. It no longer works for my anxiety like it used to. I feel like the tolerance to this drug has messed up the chemistry in my brain and I just want to stop it. I've come to realize that the majority of my anxiety has come from wacked out thought patterns. I want to correct these thoughts. I feel as though the klonopin only worked by suppressing those thoughts.

I've been tapering off from my average of 1.5-2mg a day. Every three days I go down .125 mg. As of now I'm at .75 mg a day. The withdrawal effects haven't been as bad as I thought they would be. However, I still get bad insomnia and some abnormal withdrawal anxiety. The worst of it just started coming as of late. It's not easy coming off it even at the moderately low dose I was taking.

Does any one else have any experience tapering off of benzos?
 

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Hey, yeah I successfully withdrew from klonopin a few months ago, It wasnt as bad as I expected it to be, My advice would be to go slow. Withdraw by .125 every week, and once your down to .25 a day, take it every second day for a week or 2 until your off it completly, in the meantime perhaps you could try something like Trazodone or Mirtazapine to control the insomnia. Best of luck, hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hey, yeah I successfully withdrew from klonopin a few months ago, It wasnt as bad as I expected it to be, My advice would be to go slow. Withdraw by .125 every week, and once your down to .25 a day, take it every second day for a week or 2 until your off it completly, in the meantime perhaps you could try something like Trazodone or Mirtazapine to control the insomnia. Best of luck, hope this helps.
Thanks, thats really good to hear. I think maybe I should slow it down a little I just want to get off of it ASAP.

How are things now? How long were you on it and what dose? Are you taking anything now, or trying therapy?
 

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I am going trough something similar as you only I am tapering from xanax, I tried switching to clonazepam but I haven't been able to make a complete switch gust yet the Ideal would be to gradually change over to diazepam the Ashton method
http://www.benzo.org.uk/manual/index.htm
Withdrawal from clonazepam (Klonopin) 1.5mg daily with substitution of diazepam (Valium)
http://www.benzo.org.uk/manual/bzsched.htm#s5
Hope this helps I know next time i will ask my doctor for some diazepam for my taper
good luck!
 

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Staying positive
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I am going trough something similar as you only I am tapering from xanax, I tried switching to clonazepam but I haven't been able to make a complete switch gust yet the Ideal would be to gradually change over to diazepam the Ashton method
http://www.benzo.org.uk/manual/index.htm
Withdrawal from clonazepam (Klonopin) 1.5mg daily with substitution of diazepam (Valium)
http://www.benzo.org.uk/manual/bzsched.htm#s5
Hope this helps I know next time i will ask my doctor for some diazepam for my taper
good luck!
Wow man thanks! I haven't had a huge problem with clonazepam. I think its long acting enough. Xanax could probably be a problem with how short it's half life is.

What kind of symptoms have you been having with your withdrawal?
 

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Thanks, thats really good to hear. I think maybe I should slow it down a little I just want to get off of it ASAP.

How are things now? How long were you on it and what dose? Are you taking anything now, or trying therapy?
Yeah I can understand you wanting to get off it as quick as possible.
I was taking a low dose 1.5 mg, for 6 months.
Things now are ok, I take Mirtazapine which really helps with my insomnia, it's also pretty good for depression, there's still some breakthrough anxiety though which I feel only Klonopin really dealt with.
 

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Staying positive
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Update:

I've been having a hard time finishing meals lately and have dropped 5 lbs. This isn't good I'm about 5'9" and about 145 at the present moment. I was at my best weight at 155 lbs. This was when I was working out and eating well. My doctor said its most likely caused by the withdrawal and he has slowed down my taper schedule as well as given me Pristiq for anxiety. Pristiq is the newer form of effexor.

I was a little hesitant going back on an anti-depressant, but I'll give it a shot and see if it works at all on this withdrawal anxiety. He said if it has negative effects just stop it and go without it.

Has anyone else taken an SSRI or other type of antidepressant to combat withdrawal anxiety?
 

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Update:

I've been having a hard time finishing meals lately and have dropped 5 lbs. This isn't good I'm about 5'9" and about 145 at the present moment. I was at my best weight at 155 lbs. This was when I was working out and eating well. My doctor said its most likely caused by the withdrawal and he has slowed down my taper schedule as well as given me Pristiq for anxiety. Pristiq is the newer form of effexor.

I was a little hesitant going back on an anti-depressant, but I'll give it a shot and see if it works at all on this withdrawal anxiety. He said if it has negative effects just stop it and go without it.

Has anyone else taken an SSRI or other type of antidepressant to combat withdrawal anxiety?
Get some pregabalin. It will give you a GABA effect without binding to the same receptors as benzos, thus should relieve withdrawal symptoms.
 

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Get some pregabalin. It will give you a GABA effect without binding to the same receptors as benzos, thus should relieve withdrawal symptoms.
And if you can't get any pregabalin since it's a controlled substance (albeit only Schedule V), then gabapentin should be a good substitute.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
why don't you give MAOI's a try. nardil really is the gold standard for SA.
I've thought about it. However no doctor has even considered putting me on an maoi. They would rather try antipsychotics before nardil. I've been through so many different meds for SA and I've never experienced true relief. Meds always come with side effects and I know maois are known for them.

I just feel like I don't want to become dependent on any kind of medication anymore. I would rather change my brain by changing my thoughts, not by any kind of drug.
 

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I'm in the same boat as you. went through the med merry go around for the last 2-3 yrs and tired, trying to get off. I never take more then 2-3 at a time, and so far have been off any antidepressant (nardil) for 3 weeks? Side effects going on or off weren't nice. Mood swings galore. I'm only on klonopin now, but I'm not going to wean off till later. It's recommended to have good coping tools before you come off it completely, or else it's easy to relapse. The coping mechanisms can be therapy, meditation + exercise, a combo of some or all of the above.

I'm currently trying to figure out a regimen of vitamins and supplements while trying to coping tools.
 

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Equilibrian Epicurius
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I just feel like I don't want to become dependent on any kind of medication anymore. I would rather change my brain by changing my thoughts, not by any kind of drug.
The ideal way to accomplish this would be by changing your thoughts while on a medication. This would help you learn how to interpret situations rationally, and then once you have learned this you can slowly taper yet those thoughts will be retained.
 

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Update:

I've been having a hard time finishing meals lately and have dropped 5 lbs. This isn't good I'm about 5'9" and about 145 at the present moment. I was at my best weight at 155 lbs. This was when I was working out and eating well. My doctor said its most likely caused by the withdrawal and he has slowed down my taper schedule as well as given me Pristiq for anxiety. Pristiq is the newer form of effexor.

I was a little hesitant going back on an anti-depressant, but I'll give it a shot and see if it works at all on this withdrawal anxiety. He said if it has negative effects just stop it and go without it.

Has anyone else taken an SSRI or other type of antidepressant to combat withdrawal anxiety?
If weight loss and insomnia are your main complaints, then why not try Remeron again for a little while? it's appetite and sleep enhancing effects might counteract these problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
If weight loss and insomnia are your main complaints, then why not try Remeron again for a little while? it's appetite and sleep enhancing effects might counteract these problems.
I may just do that. My doctor actually proscribed remeron for me for sleep a few months ago and I still have a full bottle left. The only problem with the remeron is it makes me sleep like 12 hours a day,lol.

The whole medication + therapy thing seems very reasonable to me. However I think that the thoughts you have when on meds are somewhat changed by the meds themselves. So when your off meds and trying therapy you're actually changing your core thought patterns. Just my thoughts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Update:

Man, the anxiety has really been hitting me hard lately. I doubt the pristiq is helping at all, if anything I feel worse. I constantly feel adrenaline running through my veins, I'm restless and very uneasy. Eating is getting pretty hard, I don't want to lose anymore weight. I'm still at .75 mg and haven't stabilized at this dose yet and it's been a week.

Maybe I'm just panicking, I've been reading stuff about protracted withdrawal and I'm scared I might get it.

I just want my brain to get back to normal.
 

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Remember that the mind is a powerful thing. Researchers have been able to induce withdrawal symptoms in patients by simply telling them their benzo dose was being reduced, even though no change was actually made. They experienced withdrawal simply because they expected to.

Of course, I also recall a study in which researchers were able to get volunteers high as a kite by smoking a substance they thought was marijuana. They were flying high on something that contained no more mind-altering drugs than lawn clippings, proving how you get what you expect to get.
 

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There's a book called Surviving Panic Disorder and the author has tapered hundreds of patients off benzos (good quick read even if you don't suffer PD.) He suggests a taper similar to yours but his patients tend to take benzos for shorter durations (2 years may require a more gradual taper.) Most people assume that since the early cuts go smoothly the later cuts should also but that is not the author's experience. So his approach is more to be prepared to put up with some discomfort towards the end. Another thing he suggests is to try stretching out the doses (ie., from 3 to 2 times a day etc.)Try to put up with as much as you can but adjust the taper according to how you feel. Don't feel bad about taking the occasional extra dose, it won't sabotage your taper. Medline had some success with phenobarbital but that's difficult to obtain legally. Don't worry about protracted withdrawal, it's not been supported by the reasearch. It sounds like you are experiencing normal benzo withdrawal which ain't no picnic. I would not fiddle with anti-depressants or anti-psychotics during the taper because then you don't know what's causing your anxiety symptoms.
 
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