Til that Benzodiazepines (Anti Anxiety Medication) if taken long enough, can produce a horrific withdrawal syndrome that lasts up to 3 years or more if stopped in some people. It is not recognized by psychiatry or any medical profession.
what if, pharma industry wasn’t evil
Hey so uh. As someone who was on Klonopin for seven years, this is really genuinely serious. I can’t even get through the first five minutes of the documentary because it’s too emotional to think about, but let me just say the withdrawal is fucking terrifying. Do not go on benzodiazepines long-term. I would even argue don’t take them short term repeatedly, ever.
Physiological dependence on benzodiazepines is accompanied by a withdrawal syndrome which is typically characterized by sleep disturbance, irritability, increased tension and anxiety, panic attacks, hand tremor, sweating, difficulty in concentration, dry wretching and nausea, some weight loss, palpitations, headache, muscular pain and stiffness and a host of perceptual changes. Instances are also reported within the high‐dosage category of more serious developments such as seizures and psychotic reactions. Withdrawal from normal dosage benzodiazepine treatment can result in a number of symptomatic patterns. The most common is a short‐lived “rebound” anxiety and insomnia, coming on within 1‐4 days of discontinuation, depending on the half‐life of the particular drug. The second pattern is the full‐blown withdrawal syndrome, usually lasting 10–14 days.
I’ve been in the E.R. three separate times for benzodiazepine withdrawal symptom because I wasn’t tapered off properly. It is genuine fucking hell. I am speaking as someone who has had hallucinations, has C-PTSD and Dissociative Fucking Identity Disorder – the worst psychiatric episodes I’ve ever had in my entire life were from benzo withdrawals. The uncontrollable shaking. The uncontrollable failure to breathe. The lack of ability to sleep. The fact that it literally induces a panic attack.
The professors who were interviewed the documentary include Dr. Heather Ashton, who created the Ashton Manual for benzodiazepine withdrawal. She fucking pioneered the methods of getting off all of the benzodiazepines 100% with the least amount of withdrawal symptoms and the rate of relapse after following the steps was as low as 8%.
I want you to consider for a second the way American drug rehab works with its 12-step programs and the cold-turkey approach. I want you to consider that if I didn’t literally google a way to taper off of Klonopin made from a country that wasn’t fucking America I would still be on Klonopin right now. I want you all to consider how drug users are treated in this country.
If you want to do something about it, spread the word of the Ashton Manual. Spread it like fucking wildfire. My psychiatrist is graduating at the end of June and I had a conversation with her in which she asked if I was mad at her or held any resentment for the way the taper schedule worked - I told her straight up, I’m not mad at her, I’m mad at the failures of our system to include this in their resources and knowledge base. I told her to tell her colleagues about this so that nobody ever has to go through what I went through again.
I’m currently in the stages of weaning off of low-dose Valium but let me just tell you. I am clean of Klonopin. I am fucking free. I’m done with it. It is thanks to Heather Ashton that I am. Nobody in America should be suffering like this because of benzos. There are other treatments.
God, if you ever can, please avoid Benzodiazepines. I understand needing them for when you have a one-off panic attack. But do not ever take them long-term.
- Triazolam (Halcyon)
Here is a complete list of Benzodiazepine medications and their brand names. Please please please stay away from these drugs if you can.
Here’s a link to the text of the Ashton Manual: <https://www.benzo.org.uk/manual/>