Hi all, this is my first post and I am hoping to get some feedback. I had the worst anxiety when I was a teenager to the point of seizures... yeah, that bad. I was put on Ativan at 13 years old, then Xanax when that didn't work and finally Klonopin. Now I have been on it twenty freaking years. TWENTY. No one tried to get me to stop and reset my system the entire time. I have been on 1mg the entire time and never needed to go up, so that's a positive. But after research and seeing how horrible long term benzo use is for your body and that it can cause dementia I freaked out. I began the taper.
I used liquid titration and over the course of a year I got all the way down to 0.13mg! With NO side effects or withdrawal! I was so happy and thought I was in the clear. Then I had a panic attack. After that, my fear has been debilitating. The paranoid thoughts are so extreme, the thoughts that I am crazy and psychotic. The depersonalization and derealization was too intense. I needed to be able to live my life. I love my life. How can I do this to myself? Constant fear and disconnection. I upped it to 0.2mg. Then to 0.35. And finally the other day to 0.5mg. I want my life back. I feel better right now. I feel connected. I feel calm.
SO my question is, what is the truth of long term use? What will happen if I do need this to function and live a happy productive life? I hate that I do and I hate the doctors for not letting me try to be without it after 4 weeks of use, but it seems too late now. I am not willing to ruin my entire life to be "natural". I don't know what to do. And how long do you have to be on it for it to start to cause dementia? Does dementia set in after 30 years of use? 40? I feel lost. I feel ashamed.
I guess I am just looking for advice, thoughts, ideas...