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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been on Clonzaepam for about five years(I take 2mg's a day) and it has pretty much been a miracle drug as far as controlling my severe anxiety/low confidence. Though while I'm on it I am pretty much numb as far as my emotions go, I don't really feel much anger, excitement, normal fear and so on. I'm pretty much a zombie. :yawn

About three weeks ago, My psychiatrist canceled my doctors appointment because he was sick and I had to reschedule an appointment, so I couldn't get a prescription for my benzo's. The nurse practitioner that is suppose to call in a prescription to my pharmacy when something like that happens was on vacation and whoever covers her is incompetent and has no idea the seriousness of her job and the effect it has on people's lives. I hate that person!

So I ran out of my Clonzaepam and for the first two days went to work while going through withdrawal. The third day I went work despite the withdrawal symptoms( Sweating, paranoia, hands shaking) and it was F**KING miserable. There was no way I was going to go through that again, I called my doctor's office(county mental health, no insurance:no) again and told the receptionist the severity of the hell I was going through and she said "no medication will be filled until you're seen" :clap.
I woke up to go to work the fourth day and was so paranoid, anxious and just plain in another dimension that I just said screw it turned off my phone and went on to pretty much just sleep for the next four days until my doctor's appointment and i finely got my benzo's filled and snapped back to reality.
Obviously I no longer have a job because not showing up or answering your phone is a big no no.

Any-way's the purpose of this thread is, I want to know if there is anyone that has been taken benzo's long-term and managed to get off them completely without shooting themselves in the head.

If so how? Whining off or cold turkey? How long and how much were you taking? Did you have a job while doing so. Was your doctor knowledgeable about getting you off a benzo. How bad was the withdrawal?

I can't live being a zombie and worrying about running out of pills as If I was Gollum anymore. I now have empathy for street drug junkies.
 

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Wow. That nearly happened to me. I contacted the psychiatrist two weeks in advance and he never got back to me (or rather he did, just days after I ran out). I would have been in so much trouble if a friend (doctor) didn't swoop in and cover me for a few days. The receptionist was very apologetic on his behalf but I never went back into that office.

I'm worried too about when I need to wean. I know it's not the time as I'm getting a little worse but when I have another upswing I'll be doing it with the most highly recommended doctor I can find and in miniscule increments. Like going down by 0.1 mg at a time.
 

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I had to come off benzos fairly rapid before. Now, I'm confident memantine and soon to be acamprosate will hinder the effects of tolerance/dependence, and benzo withdrawals won't be an issue for me (currently on 1.5mg/day clonazepam). When I went down before, I didn't notice any withdrawals, and I've been on clon for quite a while now (in conjunction with memantine).

You should look into certain neuroprotective/inhibitory drugs & supplements to help withdrawals.
 

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It's a sad world we're livin in when we are denied the medicine we need to survive for dumb reasons like that. Anyway, in my experience when I come off Benzos, I get the feeling like I need them to do anything social such as work, gatherings, or doing anything out in the world basically, because I've been dependent on them for so long. It's a really hard transition, especially if you have work or other social responsibilities....I really don't know a good way to come off of them...if it's what you are prescirbed to take daily by your doctor then you shouldn't have to deal with somethin like this. What a joke. Glad you made it tho
 

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I'm currently on 3mg/day of Klonopin. 1mg in the am and 2mg in the pm! :clap ... I used to have terrible panic attacks, but I haven't since being on Klonopin. I've been on this dose for about 6-7 months.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the replies guys!

Yeah it's great getting treated like a drug addict at the clinic where the pills where first prescribed and have been getting prescriptions there for 5 years!, but I can't function without them so I guess I am a addict.

I guess my problem is they work so well, I just took them and tried to forget I had SA and tried to live as if all was well. Knowing what I know now, I would of never started taking Clonazepam. I thought I was making alot of progress with getting over SA, but now I'm starting to think I was just masking it and might be in the same situation of when I first started taking the pills, maybe just like how there are functioning alcoholics. ??

For you peeps on Klonopin or any benzo.

How long do you guys plan to stay on them?

Can you guys not take them for a day or two and still go about your day while still functioning?

Does the medication not only decrease your anxiety, but does it numb your emotions to(kind of like wearing a welders mask for your brain)?
 

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read the ashton manual (google it) and follow her taper schedules to get off them. it may take several years to recover from the withdrawal.

i finished tapering off xanax about 15 months ago (took a few miligrams per day for a year and a half) and it's been absolute hell, every dayt is an extreme challenge with extreme pain every second. things have not improved much. i hope to be recovered in another 4 years or so though. it's not this bad for everyone, so don't be scared to come off. it's the only sane thing to do.
 

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How long do you guys plan to stay on them?
As long as they work! :)

Can you guys not take them for a day or two and still go about your day while still functioning?
Yes, but I've avoided taking them every day expressively for that purpose. I use cannabis or Vyvanse on off days.

Does the medication not only decrease your anxiety, but does it numb your emotions to(kind of like wearing a welders mask for your brain)?
To some extent, yes. It's not unpleasant, though.
 

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I plan on being on it until I have another "upswing." There was a period in 2007 when I was functioning rather normally and I should have grabbed that window to wean off or at least reduce. With any luck it'll happen to occur after finals next semester. :b

As for skipping it, I've never tried it. Actually, sorry, I forgot my morning dose Tuesday for the first time in the years I've been on it. I didn't notice anything but I would never push that.
 

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I've been on daily Xanax 1-2mg at night since February and been on Kpin off and on for the past 4 years. I can go a day or two without it and no problems other than insomnia.
 

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I like this thread. I've been on benzos for about 1 year straight at 1 MG and then quit cold turkey, took a couple tries and definitely sucked, but after about a week my system was about 100% recovered. I went on/off benzos again at a slightly shorter interval, and cold-turkey-quit that time too. But I imagine quitting cold-turkey is tougher the longer you've been on benzos and riskier too, with greater risk of relapse and even death.

However, I think Ashton's taper method is over-careful, and if you're itching to get off the benzos you can do it much quicker, although it will suck more. I've tapered quickly from 1 mg down to 0.125 mg, and then gradually got off that.

As for being on benzo's long term, have you noticed any side effects (e.g. memory/concentration related) by being on them for 5 years? I do think it is risky to be on meds long-term.
 

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ashton's tapers are not over careful. it depends on the level of dependency you developed and her tapers are designed to work for people who've been on benzos for years and have developed serious dependencies. for a mild dependency, there is no need to spend months/years tapering off. but ashton is spot on for most things benzo related.
 

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I was mopping floors working for peanuts. Started on clonazepam 1 mg/day. Managed to finish a professional degree and work in my field making really good money. But the level of clonazepam reached 4-5 mg/day by the end of 8 years of use, plus I eventually needed augmentation with opiates. I got caught abusing the medication and lost my license. Actually my employer didn't call but my wife convinced me to call my College. That was a mistake.

I now have to get random urine tests. No doctor will prescribe me benzodiazepines for my anxiety. I take the useless SSRIs and I've been off work for many months and scared crapless of going back. In fact, it's very unlikely that I will ever be able to handle the high pressure of my previous job without serious medications like clonazepam. It really pisses me off that I have to struggle to make ends meet because I can't use any benzodiazepines. I abused them because I had easy access to all prescription drugs and no doctor would prescribe the increased dose required due to my tolerance. I did abuse them but the alternative was to go back to mopping floors. It didn't seem like much of a choice especially since I bought a house and have a big mortgage and mopping floors wouldn't have paid my bills.
 

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I had to come off benzos fairly rapid before. Now, I'm confident memantine and soon to be acamprosate will hinder the effects of tolerance/dependence, and benzo withdrawals won't be an issue for me (currently on 1.5mg/day clonazepam). When I went down before, I didn't notice any withdrawals, and I've been on clon for quite a while now (in conjunction with memantine).

You should look into certain neuroprotective/inhibitory drugs & supplements to help withdrawals.
memantine prevents also benzo tolerance so?
 

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The fact you have been on them for 5 years and then going cold turkey is a dangerous thing to do. That nurse is completely irresponsible and uneducated, she should have let you spoke to your GP over the phone so he could get a script written out for you. I'm amazed at that.

In future, if you ever find yourself in those situations and you are w/d bad, I think alcohol helps to take the edge off.
 

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My doc makes damn sure I have my benzos. I'm guessing the level of concern is in large part due to the size of the malpractice suit that would result if I dropped dead from a seizure resulting from their gross negligence in causing me to go cold turkey from 10 mg of Xanax a day.

Bet killing a patient really makes malpractice premiums go through the roof.
 

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memantine prevents also benzo tolerance so?
Rodent study's indicate that nmda antagonists prevents tolerance to the sedative effect, however another study showed that an NMDA antagonist did not prevent tolerance to the anxiolytic effects.

On the other hand the human reports seems to be consistent and indicate that memantine is capable of slowing tolerance to the anxiolytic effects, even reverse tolerance according to a friend of me that was on xanax for a long time.

Keep in mind the anecdotes are very limited so casting some doubt is a good idea, altough it does look promosing.

Ive used very high doses of benzo's for a month (mostly to counteract stimulant anxiety) and also zolpidem for sleep and i didnt notice the slightest bit of tolerance or any withdrawal afterwards, but this doesnt mean much as it was only a month.
 
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