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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... 

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Mdhgl;

This partial post from a Medscape article should help you feel better. Medscape is very reliable by the way:

Contrary to previous research, a new study suggests that benzodiazepines do not to raise the risk for dementia. However, experts caution that these medications should still be avoided in older patients because of the risk for falls and confusion.

Investigators, led by Shelly Gray, PharmD, professor and vice chair, Department of Pharmacy, University of Washington School of Pharmacy, in Seattle, found that dementia risk was slightly higher in older patients who had minimal exposure to benzodiazepines over a 10-year period. Surprisingly, higher levels of exposure were not associated with more rapid cognitive decline.

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I'm not sure if this will make you feel any better, but I take 2MG of Klonopin daily and have been doing that for about 9 months now. I've been trying various types of SSRI's and am now on an SNRI, which is raising my anxiety and makes me need more Klonopin, which i refuse to take. I would rather have a life that makes me comfortable-- even if means taking a daily benzo. I would prefer NOT to take it; but I can't live being anxious. I don't want to ruin my family life.

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I agree. I saw my doctor yesterday and he told me to go back to 1mg. He reassured me that I will be okay and that it isn't the big monster many make it. Even if it were, I could get hit by a car and die tomorrow. How do I want to live my life? I want to enjoy it. And what years would I rather enjoy? The rest of my 30s, 40s, 50s? Or do I want to be the most with it 90 year old. I think I'll take these years. 

Thank you so much for your responses! Feeling better about the decision with your help!

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Hi, I just wanted to check in with you and see how you all are doing on your benzodiazapines. I'm still on 2MG. I want to taper and get back to normal living. Is it worth it?

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1 hour ago, Ethansmom said:

Hi, I just wanted to check in with you and see how you all are doing on your benzodiazapines. I'm still on 2MG. I want to taper and get back to normal living. Is it worth it?

I just sent a message but personally for me, being on the drug is normal living. I was not living life when I was so close to being off. I choose life over "natural" health. I still am back on my 1mg and haven't had any issues since. I'm me again. And I accept fully that its okay to be on medication when your quality of life is so poor you can't live and question living and question even reality. Screw that. Lol. I wanted to taper SO BAD. But it's okay. I'm now happy, healthy, living without pain and mental anguish. If it takes a pill to make that happen, I'm okay with that. No more benzo shame!

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