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How Worried Should We Be About Benzos?

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Photo via istock

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Those of us relying on Mother’s Little Helpers, aka benzodiazepines, to get some sleep or fight anxiety have tried to ignore the scary research that has accumulated about dependency, death rates and general brain fog, but a new study strongly linking “benzos” to Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) has us sitting bolt upright in bed.

Researchers at France’s University of Bordeaux looked at long-term use of benzos—brand names include Xanax, Ativan, Klonopin and Valium—among a group of 10,000 elderly citizens in Canada’s Quebec province. People who had ever taken a pill for six months were 84% more likely to develop AD.

The September findings have hit home because so many people take benzos beyond the few weeks officially recommended and because they’re especially popular in the senior set. As many as one out of every two elderly people uses them in some countries.

Big News Sparks Sober Reassessment

The main attention-grabber, of course, is the terror of losing one’s mind. Dementia affects 25 to 30 percent of those over 80; AD accounts for roughly 70 percent of that, and there’s no treatment available and no good explanation for what causes it. (Five million people in the U.S. suffer from the disease, according to the Alzheimer’s Association, and by 2025 the number is projected to more than triple. Worldwide, 36 million are affected, rising to 115 million by 2050.)

In this study, the drug use associated with AD is cumulative—so the fear is that even periodic or low-dose use could be dangerous. (Ambien and Lunesta are part of a similar class of pills known as “z-drugs” that work much like benzos in the brain and are believed to have the same side effects.)

“Even though I haven’t had the minimum number of doses that I think can start the problem, I very well might in the future,” says Sara Faison, 81, who has been trying to cut her occasional bedtime Xanax use back to zero since reading about the study in the New York Times in September.

I’m tempted all the time to take a small bite, but now that the risks are so directly tied to a horrific, soul-stealing disease, that temptation is quashed.-Jeanne Baron

Jeanne Baron, at 48, isn’t even in the study’s age range, but she says, “This study definitely affects my attitude toward taking this drug. I won’t do it.” She has taken Valium and Lunesta on and off for sleep over a series of several years but weaned herself off the last of it recently. “I’m tempted all the time to take a small bite, but now that the risks are so directly tied to a horrific, soul-stealing disease, that temptation is quashed.”

It’s the same story with Frances*, 49, who says the study has convinced her to cut her Ativan use back. “I think it’s easier to dismiss things like brain fog as temporary,” she says, “whereas Alzheimer’s feels like a nightmarish death sentence that leaves other people responsible for taking care of you or not.”

Sophie Billioti de Gage, the University of Bordeaux researcher who was lead author of the new study, confirmed by email that she and her colleagues have not yet presented any proof that those under the age of 66 need to worry about the AD risk. “Our results are not generalizable to a younger population,” she said. “Further studies based on a long follow-up would be necessary to evaluate the risk of long-term use of benzodiazepines in younger adults.”

Billioti de Gage refers younger people to international guidelines for benzo use: one month maximum for insomnia; three months for anxiety. In other words, don’t take too much or for too long. And taper gradually if you decide to stop taking them (while consulting with your doctor).

Drug Dependence Complicates Quitting

Getting off benzos may indeed be easier said than done. There’s little doubt that dependency is a risk with this class of drugs, which reduce activity in the part of the brain that controls emotion by boosting the action of a chemical called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).

A 2011 study found that up to 44 percent of chronic users became dependent.

Benzos’ tenacity wasn’t so evident when the drugs first came out in the ‘60s because at first they seemed to be less habit-forming than the barbiturates they replaced.

Benzos’ tenacity wasn’t so evident when the drugs first came out in the ‘60s because at first they seemed to be less habit-forming than the barbiturates they replaced. But they have been described more recently as harder to quit than heroin. Some former benzo users and opponents of psychiatry per se believe they are much too easily prescribed (and prescriptions too easily refilled); they trade dramatic addiction stories and withdrawal tips through sites like benzobuddies.org and benzo.org.uk: “Withdrawing from benzodiazepines is a marvelous achievement and one of the hardest things I have ever done,” posts “Gwen” on the latter.

Often, the perception of addictiveness is enough to scare people off of benzos and z-drugs.

That’s what spooked Marty Rubin, 82, who stopped taking Ambien way before the AD research came out: “I’m ambivalent about the dependency,” she said. Also, she was alarmed by the drug’s famous midnight amnesia; a former neighbor sleepwalked. “Before she died, she took Ambien every night and she used to say, ‘I couldn’t live without my Ambien.’ But she…cooked these enormous wonderful dinners and put them in the garbage.”

The Medical Battle Over Benzos’ Safety

It’s hard to keep track of the various complaints against benzos and the z-drugs, but evidence of this or that ill effect has piled up quickly in the past decade.

Benzos’ short-term cognitive effects were reported in several studies between 2002 and 2012, when the American Geriatric Society (AGS) began including them on its list of inappropriate drugs for older adults to take. The AGS was concerned not just about confused thinking but about its effects on frail bodies: “Large scale studies consistently show that the risk of motor vehicle accidents, falls and hip fractures leading to hospitalization and death can more than double in older adults taking benzodiazepines and other sedative-hypnotics… Use of benzodiazepines should be reserved for alcohol withdrawal symptoms/delirium tremens or severe generalized anxiety disorder unresponsive to other therapies.”

Large scale studies consistently show that the risk of motor vehicle accidents, falls and hip fractures leading to hospitalization and death can more than double in older adults taking benzodiazepines…-American Geriatric Society

A March 2013 study found an alarming spike in death rates among people taking these drugs.

Last year, after the Australian government began subjecting Xanax to stricter prescribing requirements, Pfizer—the drug’s maker—announced it would discontinue the Xanax brand in that country. Petitioners in the U.S. have had less success getting the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to start requiring a “black box” warning on benzo labels or influencing the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to regulate them more strictly by moving them from Schedule IV of the Controlled Substances Act to Schedule III or even II.

Benzo’s defenders argue that, when taken correctly, the class of drugs is safe—and irreplaceable when treating generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder. They say the anti-benzo campaigning can get a little hysterical.

“The rates of abuse of benzodiazepines are significantly lower than the rates of abuse of food,” Rosario Hidalgo, a psychiatrist in South Florida, wrote in 2011. What’s more, “To deliberately and selectively deprive people over 65 of benzodiazepines…could be considered age discrimination in violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.”

Study Doesn’t Prove a Causal Connection

The benzos-Alzheimer’s connection is not cut-and-dried, either. The authors of the new French/Canadian study found an “association” between benzos and the disease, which isn’t the same as cause and effect.

What if the drugs themselves don’t cause AD, but instead early symptoms of the disease propel people to take the drugs? About 30 percent of AD patients reportedly have had depression prior to the onset of dementia, and anxiety and sleeplessness are common, too.

The researchers behind the September study tried to control for this “reverse causation bias” by only including subjects who had been prescribed benzos at least five years before their AD diagnoses. It was more than earlier studies had done to address this core doubt, but the results weren’t decisive.

Billioti de Gage confirmed, “Our conclusions…reinforce the suspicion of a possible direct association,” but “the nature of the link (causal or not) found in our study is still not definitive… Benzodiazepine use might also be an early marker of a condition associated with an increased risk of dementia.”

That’s the same general analysis offered by outside experts commenting on the findings in the weeks since their BMJ publication.

John Morris, a neurologist at Washington University in St. Louis, says the results support findings that “the relationship between sleep and AD may be bidirectional… Having clinical AD may cause poor sleep, and poor sleep may cause clinical AD.”

Morris’s colleague at Washington, David M. Holtzman, says benzos may even be slightly preventive of AD. “However, there are so many other things they do as well that can have side effects or diseases they are linked with that this likely outweighs their benefit,” he says, “certainly when given chronically.”

Benzo Users Do Their Own Risk/Benefit Analysis

If only it were easier to give up the peace and quiet these drugs can provide. Insomnia and anxiety are powerful motivations for continuing to take them—especially with the research still somewhat vague.

Sara Faison says, “If [Xanax] made it possible for me to sleep and I couldn’t sleep otherwise, then I guess I would choose it.”

Says Frances, “I sleep so much better when I’ve taken my little crumb of Ativan, so I’ve taken it a few times in the past week and am contemplating whether I really want to quit entirely, use it on occasion, or [take a little every night].”

“Mark” was one of many people openly weighing his benzos-vs.-AD options recently on the New York Times website:

“It appears that your risk of Alzheimer’s is about 35% at age 85…which is really not so scary since the odds of living that long are not good. This has to be weighed against a 100% certainty that you will live every day with anxiety or insomnia if you go off your meds. I opt for meds.”
Sally Chew is a journalist based in New York City. She was an editor at Time Inc.’s Health.com as well as at Vibe, Out and POZ magazines. She also authored a true crime book and worked as a wire-service reporter overseas.

*Name has been changed.
Photo Source: istock

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What Are Your Thoughts on this Topic?

  • Bill Pluta

    Hello ! Lemme tell all of you what Xanax did to me. Years ago I was prescribed Xanax 2 mg. tablets. I had a back surgery performed, and without me realizing it, the Drs. D/C’d it. Home for about 4-5 days I started having Gran-Mal seizures. I was hospitalized for this. Unfortunately they couldn’ t stop the seizures. My family on 3 different occasions were told, ” ya better come see Bill because we don’t think he’ll be coming home !! I had what was called “Xanax Withdrawal Hysteria”!!! Not good. I was hospitalized for 3-4 mos. Thankfully God didn’t need me at that time ! What I’m saying is, Xanax is a very dangerous drug !!! It didn’t leave me with any deficits !!!! So…please don’t take it, and if you are ask your Dr. to wean you off of this !!! Just hoping I opened up some eyes !!!! Sincerely, Bill Pluta

    • Robbin Dodson

      This worries me :/ been taking xanax for over 10 years…

      • Marsha Corso

        You can’t stop any benzo cold turkey. You have to tapper off the med and the best place to do that is inpatient where they can keep an eye on how you are doing. I took Klonopin for a couple of years and became addicted to it. When I went in patient for other reasons, one of the first things they do is start to take you off the benzos.

        They do this slowly because as Bill said above you can have seizures and other side effects. Please be careful, just because your doc says it’s okay doesn’t mean you should be taking it.

        • Kristen

          I’ve been on Xanax for six years, i was taking anywhere from 4 to 7, 2mg. tablets. i’m now on a taper protocol by my doctor…he has me going on a protocol of someone who only took 6mg a day, it’s a 22 week process & that’s just to get you on valium then slowly taper for another 9 weeks. Xanax is one of the worst withdrawals I have ever encountered. My first seizure lasted 35 minutes. & once I had my first seizure, I became prone to them & have had 5 just this year. Any benzo is no drug to play with, i’ve watched friends have seizures & thankfully i’m experienced enough to know what to do. If you are considering getting off any benzos i highly recommend it. After so long they take COMPLETE control of you, just as any other drug. Hope the best.

    • Christine R

      Glad you made it out alive Bill. Some of are in need of these meds until better treatments come along or the existing ones become legal ( marijuana ) CBD cannabidiol has worked well for me. Hopefully more studies will show that it helps with many mental health issues.

  • Stephanie Paolinelli

    I totally disagree and I am in “recovery”. There are some people with crippling and debilitating anxiety and that is what this drug is for. Will you people in the recovery community ever stop with scare tactics! Probably not, that is how you earn your living.
    I also am so over people proclaiming “God didn’t need me at this time”. As if the belief in God is why you are still breathing.

    • Anonymous

      Yes, that’s right Stephanie Paolinelli, you know what’s going down since your in “recovery”. Everyone in “recovery” now earns a living scaring the crap out of people! Nobody ever dies from drug addiction, it’s all a myth! I mean, heck your in “recovery” so you should know! We all get paid big money to spread completely untrue rumor of unreal addiction and staged death! In fact, none of us ever really had any real problems to begin with! Right Steph?

      Some people need benzo’s to live any kind of normal life. Anxiety is real and medication is needed by many, the unfortunate truth however is that these medications are in fact addictive. They alter brain chemistry. Drug addiction is real. It’s not a scare tactic it’s a illness. Addiction is something anyone who takes any kind of drug has the possibility of suffering from. Take Xanax for 10 years every day then stop and see what happens. There are many who arnt informed that there is a real possibility if you start taking this medication you might never be able to stop. People have died. They will continue to die. The “recovery” community you have so eagerly vilified exist simply to support the people attempting to stop using. They are in the business of saving lives not scaring the crap out of senior’s for a living.

      • Stephanie Paolinelli

        Oh you must be in the rehab business, like out of rehab for a week and then getting a job as a counselor. You are not in the business to keep people alive, but to convince anyone who uses drugs that they are addicts. Some people need these anti anxiety drugs to function. It is a living hell for them without them. 12 step programs just don’t cut it for some people. I am in recovery but don’t agree with everything I was force fed.

        • Anonymous

          I’m a Chef. And I’m not in a 12 step program. I also srated that some people need those meds to function.

          • Christine R

            Addiction?? DSM classified?? Ok, let’s talk addiction….cigarettes and coffee….beer and hard booze…..people will find ways to cope with all sorts of issues in life. I think your attack on Stephanie Paolinelli was totally unnecessary. You are “anonymous” and you want to be brash enough to say that she has a chip on her shoulder?? Mean and vicious!! Shame on you!! Everyone, please realize that we are all fighting the same illnesses in different ways. We don’t need to attack each other to prove that our way of treatment is better than someone elses. We are here to support each other….

      • kevin

        When I started a very small amount of Xanax like .25 mil. smallest dose they make, I was able to get off Paxil and Ambien. To me Paxil was the hardest thing I ever quit even more than smoking. The side affects of quiting Paxil were so bad. dizzy, ringing in my ears, emotional roller coaster you name it. The Xanax helps me get to sleep at night and I do not have the episodes of sleep walking like when i took Ambien. I used to walk into walls at night and almost choked eating while sleeping. My kids were constantly putting me back to bed. My doctor did warn me that if I try Xanax to get off of Paxil and Ambien I could end up needing Xanax for rest of my life. But I have been on Paxil for 15 years and was never able to get passed a few weeks without it. So to me it was worth the try. Now I am several months without Paxil or Ambien and have not increased my Xanax use. But I can tell you I have been sleeping better which in turn helps beat the anxiety. So whatever the scare tactics are I’m not worried. Not to mention our generation and I am 51 will not live to our late 80’s. At least most of us won’t.

  • Anonymous

    My opinion on this is that benzos should be reserved ONLY for people with severe anxiety and panic disorder that has not responded to anything else. I myself have panic disorder and severe anxiety daily so I need this medication. But, I believe the longer-acting benzos are the better choice. I take Klonopin 1mg up to 3 times per day and have no side effects or issues. Now if I were to suddenly stop, I would experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Xanax is a dangerous one because it is so potent and short-acting, with a fast onset. Xanax is the worst of all the benzos to come off of and should only be used for 6 weeks or less for someone whom has went through a traumatic event or something along those lines, and for people with “the shakes” which are dangerous.

  • Marchelo

    BLA BLA BLA F U french idiots I’m taking Flurazepam 28 years F U

  • sam

    Say, Candy and Ronnie, have you seen them yet

    But they’re so spaced out……

  • paulo rafael

    Quitting benzos is a living hell. Don’t do it. If you have to do it, don’t take them longer than 3 weeks. Heroine withdrawal is easier than benzo withdrawal. Seriously.

    • rosealisha2

      thats scary!! For xanax to be harder to come off of then Heroin! lawl Im staying on my xanax!!

      • paulo rafael

        My comment didn’t come out right. Definitely quit the benzos as soon as you can. When I said “don’t do it”, I meant don’t do benzos. Good luck!

        • rosealisha2

          Ive been prescribed xanax for over 10 years.. I dont see me quitting because I could only imagine what that would be like!

          • paulo rafael

            Search for videos on how benzos destroyed Stevie Nicks life.

      • Wild Bill

        It’s true! Xanax withdrawal was the most horrific experience of my life!

        • rosealisha2

          I just gave my pain pills the boot.. That wasnt as hard as I thought it would be, but my xanax.. well Im not ready at all and they help!

        • rosealisha2

          Oh no!! I may have to go down that road one day!

    • GiGi

      Heroin is a opiate, it takes 7 days (of hell) to get through the withdrawals, trust me I know, my son did it more than once. On the other hand, I have been on klonipin for panic attacks and anxiety for years and tried to quit, it stores in your liver and brain cells and takes about six months to completely be gone, and if you try to stop suddenly, like if you run out, oh my gosh, it’s pure hell. You don’t get to think “I can do this for 7 days” either, it just gets worse and can actually cause you to have seizures, that happened to me too. Anxiety and panic disorders are the worse feelings in the world, but to take one little pill and feel calm is so worth it to me. I am 61, so what if I get alzheimers, my family isn’t going to take care of me when I get old anyway, so, if I lose my mind, at least I won’t know it. I did go to rehab to get off benzo’s 11 years ago, and got completely off them with a safe medical detox, but guess what? The panic attacks didn’t go away, so then I was back to square one. No amount of deep breathing, exercise, herbs, teas or anything else can get you through a true panic attack, I don’t care who you are. They are HORRIBLE and unless you have been through it, you can’t comprehend it. I do not abuse my klonipin, because if I ran out too soon, I’d get very, very sick, and that’s not what it’s for, it’s to control my horrible anxiety and panic disorder. I am a RN and I know all about drug addiction. My youngest son got addicted to opiates and then heroin (which is a opiate) and he went through hell, went to a wonderful Christian bases rehab but then his dad went and got him 6 months into a 18 month program, so guess what??? MY ANXIETY IS NOW OFF THE CHAIN!! I worry and worry because opiate relapse is so common. No one would ever think of not taking their insulin is they had diabetes or their beta blockers if they have hypertension, totally a different type of “addiction” but necessary to stay alive and live a somewhat “normal life”. This is all MY opinion and let me just say this, if you have a family member with depression or anxiety disorder, it’s definitely hereditary. In my mother’s family there were 6 suicides, none so far in my generation, but my oldest son also has anxiety disorder and he is only 39, I have taken him to the ER so many times with a panic attack and him thinking he was for sure having a heart attack. THAT”S how bad this disorder is. I just say , for ME, I take the meds and I take them as directed, it’s the only way to control this anxiety and panic disorder, and as I said, that’s just MY opinion. I pray about it all the time, and honestly believe God made me and HE knows about the misery of my life with anxiety. I still put my trust in Him and I still take my medication. God bless all of you.

  • Billy Bezoni


    • http://batman-news.com Jabaz_Hutz


      • Nellie Phelan Wilson

        just so you know, many people type caps because of issues with their vision, etc. My Aunt started all caps shortly before she died of ALS. If anyone called her on it (like you just did) I would have flipped out on them. Pick your battles! Have some respect! Don’t be a bully!
        Please & thank you!

        • http://batman-news.com Jabaz_Hutz


          • Christine R

            Uh, you mean like you are being here with these messages? You’re bitching in caps about a message that was typed in caps. Get help. Anxiety may not be the major problem in your life.

            • http://batman-news.com Jabaz_Hutz


              • Mark Sullivan

                dude… we get it. you’re clever. ever had a panic attack? perhaps this is not the thread in which to showcase your varsity level wittiness…

              • Cherokee Sweetheart

                I’ve been on them 20 years for severe panic disorder. When I say severe my heart would start flying 180 BPM and I’d usually faint from hyperventilating. They are indeed a nightmare.

              • brittni

                Yes they sure are a nightmare. Before I knew I suffered from severe anxiety and panic disorder I thought I was going to die and called an ambulance sevveral times. I’d love daily with these horrifying attacks and just wished I would die already. Medicine has miraculously helped me. I can live again.

              • Dawn

                that’s how mine are.

              • Bobby Kincannon

                I have that problem,around 150bpm is not uncommon for me, and I have had one heart attack at a very early age. Stopping x’s is not a good option for me. I have been on the for 30 years

              • night shifter

                Me too!

              • Bobby Kincannon

                Night shifter. Hope you are doin ok. Got a reply from you on a talk forum we were on the other day. I have the 150bpm heart rate and am on benzos. Hope you have slowed down with the heart rate let me know. I think it was Disgus that we talked.

              • night shifter

                I think it was. I am still on benzos and scared. Thanks for caring. I hope you are doing better.

              • Bobby Kincannon

                If the caps bother you in this thread…just move on. Obviously not getting anything from it,but maybe others are. I should not even respond to this as it fuels your fire.

              • pjf

                Bad venue to be sarcastic Hutz/

              • night shifter

                I got it :)

              • Jessica Hodges


            • Debra Simpson


          • Kirk Crawford

            I never needed “CAPS” to be obnoxious,LOL

          • Kitty Rieder


      • Guest

        How Do You Know Billy Is Yelling ?!
        I Often Think The Writing Is Getting Smaller On Here & Also Use Caps To See What I’m Writing ! Please Don’t Prejudge People For Using Caps…
        Anyway Who Are You The Writing Police Patrol ?! I Think Not …..
        just saying…….

        • http://batman-news.com Jabaz_Hutz


          • Mark Sullivan

            here’s another tip: find another hobby. the grown-ups are trying to have a conversation…

            • Kirk Crawford

              THeSe KiDs PrObAbLy NeEd Z sO tHeY aRe LeSs ObNoxiOuS…

          • Karla Pierce Singer


          • Bobby Kincannon

            Never new that! what is irratating is divert the conversation

          • Charlene Williams

            Stop being an ass you little twit!

          • phil

            u know sometimes people just type in caps because they dont care . maybe they types a message not realizing it was in all caps , then didnt want to retype it just to make some anal people happpy- . geezus . how about dont start drama over dumb shit – comment on the topic or dont comment at all

      • Karla Pierce Singer

        some people just type in caps, maybe they have a vision problem, or maybe, they really want to emphasize the importance of their statement. get over it!!!!!

      • night shifter

        Yes, old and knowledgeable!

      • Jessica Hodges


        • http://batman-news.com Jabaz_Hutz


    • Skropk1

      I’m with you… I don’t want the panic attacks to come back, nor do I want AD… Sometimes it’s like you don’t know what else to try. I exercise, sleep well (sometimes only because of the benzos), meditate, therapy, etc. but without the meds I don’t know if I could get through a lot.

      • Phil

        Agreed. The meds are there for a reason. Some of us really need them for mere survival. If others abuse them, that is not my problem

      • night shifter


    • KayDee2U

      Billy Bezoni, have you ever heard of or tried Valerian Root? I buy it in a tincture from Mountain Rose Herbs (although they sell it elsewhere and it also comes in a tea form). It helps a lot. It will stop a panic attack (at least the tincture I buy does) and it also helps on nights when I can’t sleep.

      • Marlene Rojas-Dycus

        Does valeria really work?? I’ve been on xanax 12 years & I honestly think I’d loose it if I didn’t take em. Well, I do want to stop. My grandmother dies with dementia & Alzheimer and I really don’t want to forget. I am 44 yrs old & already forget quite a bit. I’d like to wean myself off. I can’t take time off work to go to rehab or anything like that.

        • KayDee2U

          Marlene, I only know it works for me and it has helped both of my daughters when they were going through times of extreme stress or when dealing with panic attacks. (They are 34 and 26) I don’t know how it would work for someone who is used to long term xanax and I don’t recommend combining the two (xanax and valerian root) without finding out what kind of interaction(s) there might be. I feel for you and hope you find something to help you. If you wean yourself off of your pills, make sure you do it really slow. It helps with withdrawals.

          • Marlene Rojas-Dycus

            Wow! I really want to quit. But reading all this about it being tougher than heroine scares me. Something has to give. I bought this tea that’s supposed to help. I’m praying really hard that it does. I drank 4 cups last night & went pee non stop. Ugh! Maybe the tea with valerian root &no Xanax?

            • KayDee2U

              I hope you have someone to support you in your effort to quit. If you’re going to try valerian, I recommend getting a tincture (liquid in a bottle with a dropper). It would be stronger than the tea. The only time I’ve used tea is when I used the actual ground root, not the tea you buy at the store. If you can go to a health food store, ask if they have it in a liquid. You only take a little bit. A word of warning; valerian root smells bad! Hoping the best for you.

              • Marlene Rojas-Dycus

                Thank you very much

            • Brandy End Prohibition

              Marlene, it is hard. GNC has L-Thyronise. It helps with withdrawls. Potassium, and 5-HTP helps at night. Foght girl

              • KayDee2U

                I agree with Brandy. All the things she suggests are helpful. Something else I do is drink something called Natural Calm at night. It’s just a magnesium supplement in a powder form that you add a little hot water to and drink. Many people are deficient in magnesium. It helps me sleep.

              • Amanda Moore Tieaskie

                This product is amazing. Drinking right now. Also works for leg cramps and restless legs. Try it!!

            • pattie vaughn

              Do not attempt to stop after long term use without a doctors help. It can be VERY bad for you. Change doctors, fast!!!!! From experience, a GOOD CARING doctor would not allow you to be om rhis med for such a long time!!

              • Marlene Rojas-Dycus

                I’ve had different doctors through out the years.

              • pattie vaughn

                I have had same doc for 35 years. She gave me 180 hydrocodone10s, 60 oxycodone 10s and 120 diazapam 10s a mont. I am now 14 days clean from all but diazapam. I have new doc who I as about so much for over 5+ years. A good doctor will help you detox from Meds. Its not easy. Im 61yo and painfree. Thank God!

            • http://batman-news.com Jabaz_Hutz


              • Jeannie Hoots

                don’t talk until you have walked a mile in some of our shoes. If you are in severe pain from some of the diseases we suffer from, deep breathes will not help. Look up Charcot Marie Tooth and see what I’m talking about, then add your two cents.

              • Karla Pierce Singer

                Man, have you heard of KARMA? You are setting yourself up to walk a mile in so many shoes, you will not be able to make it. I suggest you take heed in those you choose to make fun of, for what goes around comes around and for someone who wants to get on here and not even show your face with a made up name to harass people who suffer these REAL AILMENTS, you would not be able to bare it, for you are a coward sir!!!!!!!

              • Bunny

                I agree with you Karia

              • Donna Moore

                your a real asshole dont judge theses people onless you have been in there shoes ive been a nurse for 15 yrs and who are you to say boo hoo i would love to see you if something happened in your life that you have problems sleeping of a panic attic there not fun and over 15 yrs time i hhave seen many people with theses i dont judge becuase i mint be in there boat someday what happen to this world and caring about other people this world has gone to shit

              • Freddie Clark

                its great to know that there are people who are lucky enough to be able to go to sleep easily or at all, with no help. If i dont take something to sleep, i lay there with my brain on overload until its time to get out of bed for the day. No sleep at all. So, it doesnt always work to say close your eyes and fall asleep. How fortunate for you .

              • Sandra

                You sir ,and I use that term loosely are not helpful.

              • Darcie Hodgkins Small

                The only proper response to this comment is : remember, if you ever get diabetes, only pussies take insulan. #jackhat

              • BG

                there is something seriously wrong with you… why the hell are you on here with all of your bs comments?

            • Marion Clifford Main

              please dont stop Xanax or any benzo on your own…use your physician to step down slowly and properly and be safe

        • Christine R

          Valerian, kava, passionflower and many others have proven to be therapeutic for some people. Be careful what you try if you take prescription meds. Sometimes the Pharma drugs mix poorly with herbals.

          • Marlene Rojas-Dycus

            My idea is to stop the Xanax. I know easier said than done.

            • Marsha Corso

              Wean yourself off the Xanax very slowly. I happened to be inpatient and I was taking Klonopin at the time. They slowly weaned me off the Klonopin – cutting the pills first in half and then in quarters.
              If you do it too fast you could end up with seizures and other side effects.
              Good luck and talk with your doctor to see if there is anything which can help you.

            • Bobby Kincannon

              Like most are saying it is a slow,hard process. A Dr. told me that unlike regular benzo’s, Xanax work on a particular part of your part of your brain and make it a little harder to detox from. One med called Gabapentin is sometimes used to help detox.

              • Karla Pierce Singer

                Gabapentin, or Neurontin is a sorta brain tranqualizer, it will help you to sleep. I think it is a miracle drug. Cancer Drs use it with pain meds to increase their potency, they can stop seizures, they manage mood swings and it calms the nerves that hurt from Neuropathy and Fibermyaliga. To do all that, it must be a miracle drug!!! Believe me, there’s more!!

            • Marion Clifford Main

              don’t do it on your own use your physician to help you do it properly

          • pattie vaughn

            And melatonin for sleep. It works oh so well!!!!pattie

            • Bunny

              I tried melatonin and it didn’t do anything for me only gave me a sick feeling

          • Darcie Hodgkins Small

            I mean NO disrespect, but I once asked my pharmacist if there was an over-the-counter replacement for my meds. She asked me how old I was when I was diagnosed. I told her my GAD and CCPTSD were diagnosed at 12. She said, “No. The stuff on the shelves is for people who THINK they have a disorder.

        • Karla Pierce Singer

          You can also use Lemon Balm Extract, I get it from Amazon, it works well, and let’s not forget about the old faithful Melatonin, extract is best, but any form works well. I always use a sound Machine to help me to fall asleep, and nite lites so no big lites have to be turned on when getting up to go to the rest room, cuz a light will wake you up in an instant.

        • Marion Clifford Main

          don’t wean yourself please work with your physician to do it….this stuff is very dangerous to stop on your own

        • Karla Pierce Singer

          You can also use Lemon Balm Extract, you can get it from most health food stores. It has been compared to Valium, I buy it from Amazon, it works very well,.

      • Bobby Kincannon

        Sure. That, Melatonin and some other natural herbs and teas work well for some. Sleepy time tea is another. Should all be available at a local health store or some markets. It can get a little pricy for some.

      • LizP

        Thanks, KayDee2U. I don’t have many panic attacks any more, but do have trouble sleeping, so will try it.

    • Christine R

      I agree, Billy. I have lived with generalized anxiety and panic disorder for thirty years. It can be debilitating at times. I do have great respect for the research being done. That being said, I have a much greater respect for quality of life. If I am to live everyday of my life in fear then I am not living. I take Xanax 1mg twice daily. I also supplement with cannabis tincture comprised of high amounts of CBD and low THC. Ot allows me to lead a very calm existence. Since using the Cannabis tincture over the past year I have used less Xanax and feel great. Life should be worth living. If I get AD @ age 80? So what!! I’m not guaranteed a long life. So I will do what it takes to have peace of mind now.

      • Jeannie Hoots

        I can not take Xanax without falling into a deep sleep, but I’ve been taking 5mg Diazapam for over 20 years. I take two every morning and my panic attacks and anxiety are manageable. I would love to supplement with the cannabis tincture but I have no clue where to get it. When I still was a smoker, a hit or two of pot helped me to stay calm and function normally. I am a non-smoker now but I have been hearing great things about the use of cannabis. I suffer from CMT, a disease that destroys all the nerve coverings and eventually atrophy of the muscles. It is similar to MDA and is very painful. I believe that cannabis helps this also. Where do I get some or who do I ask???? Help Please.

        • Bobby Kincannon

          Check with your state med. board or ama maybe pharmacist, I think the law varies state to state

        • LizP

          Jeannie: Your doctor should know too.

          • Jeannie Hoots

            i would have to move to a state that allows medical marijuana and because of my health conditions I live with family, so we would have to leave our loved ones here and move away just for me to have the right to live my life as a worth while person.

            • LizP

              That’s too bad, Jeannie. You are still worthwhile regardless of your health though. It’s just too bad you can’t get more relief from your condition.

            • LizP

              You are still a worth while person regardless, Jeannie. It’s too bad you can’t get more relief from your pain though.

            • LizP

              You are still worthwhile regardless, Jeannie. I’m sorry you can’t get more relief for your pain though.

            • LizP

              Jeannie: You are still worthwhile, no matter what. I’m just sorry that you can’t get more relief for your pain.

            • Linda Bonilla

              Lots of people move to medical states…I am lucky I live in California where Medical is legal

              • Jodi Ashley

                Lots of people may move but millions don’t because they’re too sick or don’t have the money or support to or there are custodial issues for them to consider. Moving states is a huge thing when you’re sick, have children, separatedor are in financial hardship.

        • sharon nickles

          You can make your own tincture with cannabis. Look on you tube!!!!

        • mooddeeT

          Oh the tinctures are great. A few drops in warm water and I’m relaxed. I agree, I’m not a smoker no more, but the oils and edibles are great. Might have to travel where it’s legal. And you can rub the oil directly on aches and pain. Is a win win. And I also have 5 mg Valuim on hand for my panic attacks.

      • Nursedawn

        That’s what I hate about these articles, I have never had GAS or a panic attack however many friends/patients who have. Now, just like pain meds that’s what these are for. These meds come with unavoidable tolerance (which is not the same as the drug seeking behavior seen in addiction.) The ONLY reason we do not treat people with pain/anxiety conditions is drug scheduling laws signed in 1970 by Richard Nixon in order to ‘criminalize’ meds which have therapeutic value. We have become a society wherein those with genuine pain/anxiety disorders are the ones suffering due to the actions of those w/ addiction and it’s unfair to the patient. last I checked we will always have ppl with addictions, we are not treating them either by placing non-violent in jail rather than rehab.

        • Amy Maria Sizemore

          Well most go to rehab to avoid the jail time & it does their ass no good if they really don’t want the help to begin with. Some are just to far gone to help for real. I know of one called my Ex…

          • Nursedawn

            True, it does not do any good if people do not want it. Been clean & sober since ’89 and while I don’t think it’s too late for anyone whose mind it left people who don’t want it will never stay clean.

        • mooddeeT

          Yes, I know what your talking about. I’ve worked in the field many years. Now because of budget cuts people have to go to the pysch ward if they are detoxing, which leaves many people not accepting of treatment, of course. Sad sad day.

      • Amy Demoe

        Ameeeeeeen Grlfriend, I have Crohns Disease, and Fibromyalgia, neuropathy and nerve damage in my legs,anxiety, and severe migraines alllllll the time.i don’t abuse the meds.i will break my Valium in half and break the half in half only when i need it.if I’m alive at 80 or more and they it happens.so wat.sht happens after when ya get old.lol

    • Guest

      I suffer from extreme anxiety and have been prescribed Xanax fully well knowing of it’s addiction and the horrors of withdrawals. I really hope that I don’t ever have to stop taking it. It makes my life ‘A LIFE WORTH LIVING’… without it I am paralyzed with fear of the public, extreme stress, panic attacks and horrible anxiety. Billy, I know exactly what you mean!

      • Bunny

        I agree with Billy and guest and Lauren cause I am on xanex myself.

    • Lauren

      I’m with you all the way Billy! I also have severe anxiety disorder with panic attacks and I need my Ativan or I would be a complete mess! I can’t take all the stress on my own!

    • Bunny

      I agree I went to a phys. and theraphist I was a mess for 6 mths until my dr. gave me 2mg. of xanex 2 times a day in a few days I felt almost normal.I know I need them cause if I get stressed I get an anxiety attack even with the meds. So I take % deep breathes and keep telling myself I will be alright. Once in awhile I take a 1/3 in the afternoon when I get a panic attack and that works.

    • Chad Gazzerro

      Your nuts. If your having panic attacks there’s a physiological reason. Could be blood sugar so try coconut oil. If its stress related take krill oil to cool down over active parts of the brain. High intensity interval training increases Bdnf ( which in turn creates new brain cells and give you higher levels of dopamine and serotonin)and endorphins- so get a kettle bell. Maybe you have a mutation in your mthfr gene and your body can’t process folate like 50% of the population (that’s the reason I became addicted to klonopin)- research that and try methyl folate. Meditation rewires neuronal connections and produces a calmer more stoic individual. Be natural and don’t allow the pharmaceutical/psychiatric complex to bullshit and victimise you. Speaking from experience.

    • Guest

      I do believe you are my friend life is to short to not be able to socialize or live a so called normal life if you have the option to take a pill or suffer swallow that pill babe I know I suffer as well

    • Susan Gabrielle

      I agree….I have been on Klonipin for years and it allowed me to have a life…and I will continue to have one as long as I do. None of us know how bright or bleak our last days will be…Today is what matters. I saw my dad deteriorate to nothing from the effects of a stroke but his mind was perfect. That was horrible too

    • Ryan Malotte

      I feel the exact same way Billy, unfortunately i’m 24 and look even younger.
      My dr. mentioned taking me off the Klonopin ive been taking for 5 years now and i could not help but to start balling my eyes out.
      Im not sure if he’s going to go through with it but like you said man…
      If this forces me out on the street to self-medicate well then i guess thats on patch adams for tryna screw up everything i’ve been able to accomplish in the last 5 years.
      I will take A.D. as long as the majority of my life was bareable then to me its worth it ya know…

  • David Joseph Carpenter

    Another example of professionals in the Psychiatric field causing more harm than good with their patients. This class of meds has been utilized in patients for decades with the promises of “taking the meds to get better” or be (med-compliant).

    Now the same professionals inform us that they are dangerous and same population now needs to stop taking the miracle drugs they hooked patients on to begin with. Sic medicine indeed!

    I am withdrawing off 6m Ativan daily usage, and it’s been sheer hell and my Doctor’s are treating me like an addict now over these Benzo’s, with the promise of AD in the future.

    Ponder the reality of malpractice lawsuits across the nation. If you have not taken this class of meds… do NOT ever start regardless of the benefits any Doctor promises.

  • Brenda Hennessee

    In my mind, it boils down to this: Do you want to be able to live a life when you’re younger and still able to enjoy it or live longer until you’re frail and haven’t slept or been able to do anything for decades due to panic attacks? What’s the use of life if you can’t enjoy it?

    • Nancy Rodgers

      There are other drugs you can take that are nit so destructive.

      • kevin

        Please tell us what they are Nancy!!!

        • Wild Bill

          Temazepam is a fairly mild Benzo.

    • Christine R

      Well said, Brenda!!

    • Kimberly Ann

      I’m with you Brenda!

  • Sissy Dicky Strawbridge

    i think the real med is weed but since not legal yet in nj..I have taken Klonopin ive been on since I was 14 and im 31 now I’ve taken 1mg once a day, really need to take 2 a day, but my doctor said that that’s to much to take and its very addicting, which is BS! I suffer from general anxiety and it sux sometimes u cant get treated right..i think as long as u use it as its supposed to be, youll be fine…but I have seen a lot of family member abuse it, but that’s only because doctors became strict on pain killers, but what I really think, I say make weed legal if u want to get people off meds

    • Elizabeth

      You think that your doctor saying Klonopin was addicitve is BS???
      So – you think that it’s NOT addictive? :(
      ***Please read up on Benzos – as they are SO addictive.
      I’m so glad your doctor actually thinks just a little bit, though it’s very sad they still prescribe you a VERY addictive pill to take daily. :(

      • kevin

        Would it be better for this person to hide in the closet and not do anything? Take the meds if you need them. Future is not guaranteed anyway…..

  • Anna

    I agree with Billy Bezoni. For me it’s so bad when panic attacks come out of no where, and anxiety feels like a heart attack ready to happen. No one should have to live this way. Therapy is also a big part of my life since a teenager. I always wonder how life would be without issues of being scared and not wanting to leave the house !!! And I think it ‘s really sad when people call bad names and make fun of illnesses :(

  • Jade Cibotti

    well, guess I’m sorta screwed.

  • rufrog247

    Anxiety disorders run in my family. My Paternal Grandmother and all her sisters has anxiety disorders and were never on Benzos yet they all suffered and died from complications of AD. Has anyone done any long term sutdies on anxiety disorders: Is it the Benzos that cause the AD, or is it the anxiety disorders that are a predisposition to the AD? Has anyone thought of this?

    • Skropk1

      Good question.

  • Brenda Thomas

    Tell me i can have life without medications
    properly prescribed!

  • Janet Larkin

    I am completely dependent on Xanax I was prescribed 2mg twice a day
    twelve years ago. I have lowered my dose to .5mg about three times a
    day. Back when I was first prescribed this drug for anxiety, they gave
    me NO warning of how addictive it is. When I am out for more than a day,
    I cannot function at all! I go crazy, see things, and cannot form
    words. If there is a law suit of any kind, I would love to partake in
    it. I have many testimonies to share. This drug has ruined my life. More
    than anything, I want to be free from the dependence on it. I am so mad
    at the drug industry that gave me this “candy” without warning. If
    anyone else is in my “boat” please contact me @ moondew67@yahoo.com
    thank you for this article.

  • LuAnn Goggin Patterson

    Been on it since 1995. I don’t care if I get AD. Panic/anxiety is horrid. Over the years my dose was increased due to tolerance but this summer my doc, out of the blue, cancelled my script. Didn’t notify me, nothing. After a phone call and a heavy discussion I was reissued a script but for half the dose. How do I feel. I could feel better. I don’t sleep as well. My heart races more frequently. I guess I’ll take up drinking.

  • Nancy Rodgers

    My son used xanax long term. His depression, anxiety, OCD, paranoia from the withdrawal of the drug was so severe that he feared he was never going to be the same again. It scared him so badly and threw him into such a deep depression that he took his own life. This drug type is harder to get off of than any other. People need to be made more aware of the dangers. It actually changes the brain. If you are taking them you need to do some research on them if you try to get off of them be sure you do it correctly. It can kill you, in more ways than one.

  • Tina Cheree Winborne

    I’ve taken Ambien and Valium for many years now. I’m 42 and have brain fog often. I sleep very little and I just started taking Restoril last night. didn’t help at all. My memory seems to be getting worse as each day passes.

  • Sarah wolfrom

    Considering I almost died from a prescribed dose of Klonopin I’m here to tell you that if you take these drugs you literally have a death wish… I’m in year six of trying to recover my health… Still can’t drive, can’t work… Completely trashed my health… Never abused… In fact it took me three years to figure out I was in WD bc I’m not an addict- do not EVER take these drugs

  • Lori Yach

    Xanaz is a evil drug. I have chronic PTSD and suffered from horrible panic attacks. The doctor put me on Xanaz years ago and told me they were not addicting. I found out differently when I stopped taking them. They treated me with an inner ear infection when they were withdrawals…they said they could not be withdrawals because there are none. With out the right support I went back on them for a total of about 7 years. I had grand mall seizures for a year….sometime one after the other. My daughter was horrified and so was I. I busted my face up several times. When you take a benzo and have anxiety because of some trauma, when you try to go off of the drug the anxiety comes back two fold. Your body does not know how to deal with it even worst before you started the drug. Any quick fix is not good for you. You have to seek out help and work through it instead of relying on a drug to fix you. It might seem like the right thing at the time, but just wait, you might live in hell for awhile. Some people do not make it back. This is not a scare tactic, this is my story.

  • KayDee2U

    There are natural means to help with anxiety and insomnia. Some help some people and others help other people. You just have to see what works for you. For me, for both anxiety and insomnia, valerian root works the best. I buy it in a tincture form from Mountain Rose Herbs. (I mention them, because they sell high quality items) If you are in a situation where you aren’t taking anything, I really recommend you look up some natural methods. It’s not all quackery.

  • Lorey

    .all drugs can be addictive and all drugs have side effects. Try going off an antidepressant.. Look at all the drugs they advertise on TV that are suppose to help us and in the next commercial you see where there is a law suit on it. Anxiety is real, I have suffered for years with it.Sometimes taking a benzo is the only thing that will help you function.

  • dianna

    Ive had a script for years…1 mg 3x day but only take them when needed im in no way addicted to them or anything else ive taken

  • Renee Alter

    I was given Klonopin along with Serzone & then Seroquel for the pain of Fibromyalgia which I was on for about 14 years. Then I stopped taking them cold turkey and went through 5 days of wicked withdrawal. (I was on other meds, too). As a recovering alcoholic told me years later, I went into the pink cloud (for about 3 months) and then hit the wall. I wonder if it was the Klonopin that did it — or the combination I was on. It took over a year of trying different meds (anti-depressants) to get one that helped me pull out of the severe depression/disconnect/anxiety attacks I ended up with … so I am now on Remeron. I have Ativan, but only use it when I get muscle spasms, because it relaxes my muscles much better than Flexeril (a muscle relaxer) does. Remeron makes me drowsy at night when I take it so no matter how wired I am during the day, I can still chill and fall asleep. Sleeping good every night after awhile has helped me to feel better, along with learning some Cognitive Mind Tools. You can visit my website at http://www.reneealtersatmosphere.com to find links to the things that have helped me. Although, everyone is different. I just hope that what has worked for me can help someone else.

  • kevin

    I would go with the meds. I am 51 and do not expect to live into my 80’s…..

  • Brandy End Prohibition

    Everyone should try NATURAL herbal. #LEGALIZATION #Marijuana No one has died or been addicted!

  • Sweet Girl

    Ok…now im just scared. In treatment 4 the big H after using 4 maybe 10 yrs & have been prescribed & taken Klonopin 4 @ least 7 yrs, Trazadone (2sleep) 4 about 4yrs & Adderall for 2yrs plus Citolopram 4depression. Im obviously 34 & just realized, as ive just been told, headed 4 a extremely horrible life! I thought I was doing all this so my life would b better. Life can b a real stinker! Sooo much to look foward to!!! Guess I better start running all my errands now b4 I 4get what I need & who I am! No planting seeds in my garden, better buy the flowers & trees already grown. I love my life rite now & wish I never visited this site!!! Y would doctors who supposedly care & are in my best interest do this to me?!!! How could all of them not know anything about this & not tell me!!! Im just really really scared & angry now! Anyone know a good lawyer?

  • jim

    I had to live with social anxiety disorder . I also turned to alcohol To help out this disorder.I was drinking at work just to survive and function..xanax was a miracle on my Life a way to function without major anxiety And suicidal thoughts. it saved my life at the age of 30 …without I wouldn’t be here…so many its a life saver!!!.

  • Christine R

    Panic attacks and anxiety are different for all of us. Although, the symptoms may be similar or same in some cases the reason behind them is diverse and varied. What works for some may not work for others in treating with herbs or meditation. I can only speak my truth of what has worked for me and hopefully it will help someone else. I was the psych nurse that continued to work while I suffered with this illness. Ultimately, anxiety in several forms took me away from a job that I loved very much. But, I live with my illness just like other people live with theirs. Do what you have to do to find peace in this ever increasingly stressful world. Enjoy your life and forget about what the naysayers are whining about. People that are more concerned why Billy capped his message over the content of the message worry me. Get over it. So he capped the entire thing. Big deal. If you are obsessing about the way he typed it then you’ve missed the point of this discussion.

  • rosealisha2

    I agree with Billy. I have been prescribed Xanax for over 10 years, and xanax thus far is the only med that helps with my generalized anxiety disorder! I already thought about having Alzheimer’s; but Id rather be more clam then living keyed up and on edge and having panic attacks constanly! and these take all those away!

  • Mindy rae

    I took zanax for only a few months then I just quit them and next thing you know I wake up in the hospital with my family saying I had 2 seizures and I just feel like I’m not the same I’m not remembering stuff my eyes do this weird twitching thing with odd lights rolling through I stutter a lot I’m scared and the doctors are like its no big deal well it is to me

  • suzyla

    The best way to get off of Xanax is Valium. Valium is used to treat seizures. But only with a doctors prescription. Xanax is like Heroin, it makes you feel perfectly fine but you will need more and more to get that happy feeling. Talk to your doctor about Valium to slowly get off without seizures. Or maybe Tegretol, it won’t give you that happy blissfully feeling or stop your anxiety attacks but you will live.

  • Jordan Martin

    It would be nice to be able to go to sleep again without Xanax. I really do not want to have to depend on it for sleep for the rest of my life but if I don’t take it I will just lay in bed with a billion trillion thoughts keeping me nervous and awake

  • Melissa Scott Bland

    I need them to handle my panic attacks anyone who suffers from anxiety knows what I am talking about.. To take them away is to make my suffering so much worse

  • macska18

    i’ve seen two people in my family with dementia. one was on prozac for many, many years… the other was on ambien, and he took them as if they were a tic tacs. the worse side effects i’ve ever heard of and witnessed were from ambien. that should be taken off the market, people i know have done a lot of on line shopping in the middle of the night, didn’t remember, and were quite suprised when their packages arrived.. getting into their cars and going out for fast food…my ex husband was eating a bowl of cereal one night and when i came back into the room his face was in the bowl and he was fast asleep. ambien is some crazy sh*t. very dangerous.

  • Melissa Cox

    Adverse effect I can’t start day without XANS it clears my head but definitely does not sedate me it’s like a upper to get day started

  • Chelle Renee’

    I’ve had insomnia since childhood and anxiety since I was a teenager.m When I was in my thirties, I was given Tamazapin. It worked but I couldn’t get it filled after a few months. In my forties, I was told I have Fibromyalgia. I was put on Klonopin along with other narcotics. Now I wouldn’t take benzo’s or pain killers EVER!!! I will not get physically dependent on any drug ever again. If they have physical withdrawals I’ll get through my anxiety the way I always have. I sit in it and figure out why I feel so much anxiety. When I figure it out It goes away. I have learned that your breathe will get you through anything. If its really bad I rock back and forth or get up and get busy or play on the computer or my phone. In other words, I get my mind busy and forget about it. Instead of fighting it, I roll with it. I handle insomnia the same way. If I can’t sleep I stay awake…sometimes for days at a time. As far as pain goes, which I have 24/7, I deal. I will NEVER use this drug again. At least when I feel pain I know I’m alive and not in a drug induced stage of confusion.

  • Chris Caudill

    I absolutely hate benzos, in particular xanax, because they have caused nothing but harm in every single persons life, including my own, that I know and have ever known or even heard of! They’re the devil pill and should be banned and never produced again!!

    • Karla Pierce Singer

      When used therapeutically, benzos can work quite well, but, the potential for abuse is extremely high, and with abuse comes the aggression factor that goes along with the xanax.. if your anxiety is mild to moderate, IMHO, use holistic measures, sound therapy, meditation, etc..or use natural cures such as valerian root, lemon balm, melatonin, herb, cannabis, only the benzos when prescribed by a doctor and then stay COMPLIANT, THAT IS THE KEY!!!!!!! Yes, when abused, they ARE THE DEVIL, but, just like food, some people need xanax, you wouldn’t tell a food addict not to eat would you? If you don’t NEED IT MEDICALLY, then DON’T take it PERIOD, but, don’t condemn everyone because some can’t control themselves…

  • shelli

    Yes, without my benzos I don’t know if I could get threw my days. I don’t want the panic attacks to come back nor the severe anxiety…I dont want AD eithier oh my….I just have to choose the benzodiazepines…plus one time I had to wait to get my next script and had a seizure in public at the Grocery store! I don’t remember anything but I opened my eyes n I am in a ambulance! It freaked me out! Then when I was told what happened at the Grocery store I never want to go back in there.

  • Mark Sullivan

    I had a couple of panic attacks in about 2000. Horrific. They expanded to such a degree that I needed to get nearly pass-out drunk to board an airplane. Soon thereafter, I got a prescription for lorazepam. It did the trick so well that I can now simply carry the bottle in my pocket & give it a little rattle when I feel the heeby-jeebies coming on, and it allows my to follow Woody Allen’s advice: Sit quietly & wait for the feeling to subside. .

  • Suzy

    I was 1 of those ppl that thought I needed it for anxiety, and sleep.. until recently. Simple diet changes and embracing nature go a long way. Speaking from experience. I haven’t felt anxiety in months.

  • Kirk Crawford

    BAWDERDASH!! I’m 55 years old with anxiety disorder brought on by COPD/Emphysema. I used to take 3 mg of Ativan daily. I did this for 10 years. I still take 1/4 mg 3 times a day. I still remember back to when I was 5 yrs old. If anything-i lose more brain cells to Oxygen deprivation than “Z”drugs.

  • Kirk Crawford

    ?..siht od I dluoc ,esu dednetxe retfa suoregnad erew sgurd “Z” fI

  • Christopher Mcconnell

    i SUFFER from anxiety and need benzos to get by.

  • Rebecca Coen

    ive been on a high dose of xanax for several years , due to PTSD, anxiety. I’m scared to be without it. I dont wanna be 80 any way . 54 now……arg

  • roger chaffin

    you all get you some good weed, that will take care of all of those anxiety and sleeplessness. I have took those drugs but when I got cut off because of the stupid drugs laws, I had a bad seizure, almost died. No more, just some good smoke.

  • Rebecca

    I suffer from extreme anxiety and have been prescribed Xanax for several years now knowing full well of its addiction properties and the horrors of withdrawals. Xanax changed my life for the better. I really hope that I don’t ever have to stop taking it. It makes my life a LIFE WORTH LIVING. Without it I am paralyzed with fear of the public, extreme worry and stress, panic attacks which conclude with uncontrollable crying and horrible anxiety. Without Xanax, I don’t think I could make it in this world. Spoken like a true addict, right? I know I am addicted, but to me that it’s worth it since NOW my life is free from the horrors I mentioned above.

  • John

    I would just like to respond to the many people on here who have commented and wanted to know how they can get off of it because of whatever reason. Let me tell you this right now, and listen carefully. If you think your life has been “ruined” by xanax or that you don’t want to live the rest of your life dependent on a drug that MAY cause AD, memory lost, or whatever. Let me ask you this, did you need Xanax to begin with? I’m assuming most of you did or you wouldn’t have been prescribed it. Did it help? Did it solve your anxiety/sleep/phobia problems? Ok, now let me tell you about what is going to happen if you stop taking it. I know because I was prescribed Xanax for almost 15 years, and I am almost 40 years old now. I was sent to detox facility and then later to a long-term treatment facility, where they just completely took me off of all drugs. I had no benzos, nothing in my body for almost two years. First, the withdrawal for about 2 months were something I would not wish upon my worst enemy. I will never go through that again,..I don’t care what these drugs cause. They kept telling me its gonna get better. Well, it didn’t. It got worse and worse. My anxiety came back ten-fold and not only did I have extreme anxiety, but I now had developed OCD, phobias.etc. I could not complete sentences verbally. I could not write. I could not think. I lost my personality. I did not want to leave my bedroom because someone may see me, I didn’t speak to anyone, I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror without having a panic attack, I didn’t even want to look at a computer or go online. I was basically a walking, depressed, zombie. I hoped that I had cancer and would die. (at one point the doctors thought I had a mass in my parotid gland). My parotid gland had swollen and was red and puffy and nobody knew why. I went to specialist after specialist, nobody could ever tell me why my face had swollen. I did my own research and learned that xanax and benzos regulate the amount of saliva that your parotid gland produces. Well, so I (no doctor ever figured this out) determined that the reason for all of these health problems was becasue I had been without xanax for almost two years. Oh, and I had acne like I was 16 again. Finally, my parents said, “you can’t just lay here and do nothing the rest of your life”. I was a professional with a full time job before this happened. Then it slowly hit me, I can’t keep feeling like this. I have to go back out and get a job, but how when I don’t want to leave the house because of the panic attacks I feared when I might have to talk to someone (because I couldn’t put the thoughts in my head into words that would come out of my mouth. Finally, I said fuck it….give me back my pills!!!!! And, now I am back to “normal”. I don’t care what long-term problems these pills may cause. The two years I lived without them were a living hell and a life not worth living. So, my theory is…if you aren’t on them,..do not get on them! However, if you have been on them for a while, and you think you are gonna just get off them..I will be praying for you. Trust me, I will NEVER get off benzos again! NEVER!

  • Jennifer Fleming-Vitiaci

    Blah blah blah. I would never sleep without them

  • Tamara

    I know since using benzo my memory has gotten worse and the fog last longer. It’s been 10 years on xanax xr 1 mg for me. Tried cutting back and the side effects were absolute hell. Had to go up in dose for at least a week in order to be right mentally. Wish I’d never heard of benzo. I feel like a junkie because of the dependency now even though I take my meds as prescribed.

  • Paula valentine

    I suffer from depression and severe social anxiety disorder that has prevented me from living a normal life for over 15 years. I have been on xanax for years off and on. Every time I stop taking them, within days I am fighting the battle again. It gets so bad sometimes that I lay in bed for days without talking or doing any normal daily activities. It affects me so bad that my heart will beat so fast and I feel like I cant breathe. I cry all day and dont know why. I am only in control of this disease while using xanax and other prescribed medications. I would love to stop taking them but I am so afraid of consequences every time I stop. I have no life of my own. This illness consumes me.

  • sandy

    have they studied people with anxiety disorder depression and extreme panic attacks with out the benzo’s ??? well they should i’m 55yrs old and have had anxiety my whole life at least since i can remember depression came along a little later then the panic attacks u know the ones where u can’t breath everything starts to spin u break out in a sweat that makes u dripping wet and u just start to cry no matter where u r ,it just starts no control over this kind of panic attack i’ve tried everything i have heard of there’s days i couldn’t leave my house sometimes my bed i thank God the dr. put me on benzo’s i couldn’t live a normal life so do i live right now or worry about what might happen when i get 80?

  • Diane Steliga Kalina

    My son had suffered with panic attacks, high anxiety, and depression. We do not use any types of drugs, so I took him to a good Naturopath in our area. He said that his Thyroid and Adrenal glands were very low. He said that the low thyroid was causing his depression and the low adrenal was causing his panic attacks and anxiety. He put him on some supplements that are used to rebuild these glands. In about three weeks, my son said he felt so much better but he continued to take them for about 5 months until the glands were functioning normally. He said his life was totally changed…he said he could actually think (his words). He is now a very calm and happy person. Long story short is that these types of problems can be corrected, not just treated with dangerous drugs. My advise would be to seek out a GOOD Naturopath and get to the REASON you are feeling the way you feel OR the reason you are not sleeping. That way, you can correct the problem and start ENJOYING your life. This is my opinion.

  • Margaret Caulfield Madigan

    I have withrawn from xanax twice and it’s bad, nothing worse then the discontinuation of Paxil!!!





  • Rachel Christina Camp

    I have been diagnosed with depression, severe generalized anxiety disorder and bipolar disorder. My doctor put me on klonopin (for anxiety) and gabapentin (for mood disorder). I feel so much better taking these medications. I would have panic attacks all the time and sometimes wanted to kill myself. Now, with my medication, I can live a somewhat normal life now. I’d definately choose the risks of the drugs rather than not having them and live a very hellish life. In my case, they have helped me tremendously!

  • Erica Torres

    If it weren’t for valium for my anxiety I would be a wreck! I suffer from generalized anxiety disorder and a few others and also take ambien so I can have peace and quiet inside my head. I am thankful for these two that I take. As for AD, of course I don’t want to live like that it gave my family take care of me, however it’s not 100% that I’ll get it! The only ppl that understand are ppl that suffer with anxiety disorder, and it does not go away in 3 months! It’s a lifetime illness that we have to deal with not these drs trying to take us off of it.

  • Rhonda Willoughby-Ohl

    I have an anxiety disorder as well as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and
    they can stick benzos where the sun don’t shine…..they are addictive
    and dangerous (not to mention the long term effects of taking these drugs) and I have lost to many people I love because of them. If you’re taking these drugs and have been for longer than a month you’re addicted, that’s a fact. There are many ways of dealing with anxiety other than taking drugs. Retraining your brain is a great way to do
    it….you can get help with this from your medical professional or they
    can get you in touch with a provider who can help you with this. I have
    gone through the drug trial and error, be my guinea pig experiments and
    I finally decided that drugs are SO not the answer! These drugs were
    designed for SHORT term use only and they are doing you more harm than

  • Olde Pharte

    they’re trying to sell you on Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors aka mind control drugs. Of course, then you’ll need “abilify” and still feel suicidal most of the time.

  • connie g

    I was in a horrible accident two years ago this month I lost my left hand and if I had not lost my left and they were not found my dad bowel disease which they had to remove my large colon. So that was bittersweet my anxiety and my depression was so bad that I spent three and a half months in my room alone could not go out in public could not face people my blood pressure was 160 over a hundred and ten every single day and the doctors put me on klonopin and Cymbalta.this I feel saved my sanity I was going truly nuts I was never ever suicidal never have been and the thought has never entered my mind but who wants to live like that. I still have problems going out in public I was a nurse for 25 years and I felt like that I’ve lost myself I have no confidence and no self esteem I don’t feel like that I can be the best nurse that I was with one hand so part of me is gone and it will never come back.I will continue to look for a nursing job maybe in an office and I pray that God opens that door because today I am truly trying to find myself again.

  • Nursedawn

    That’s what I hate about these articles, I have never had GAS or a panic attack however many friends/patients who have. Now, just like pain meds that’s what these are for. These meds come with unavoidable tolerance (which is not the same as the drug seeking behavior seen in addiction.) The ONLY reason we do not treat people with pain/anxiety conditions is drug scheduling laws signed in 1970 by Richard Nixon in order to ‘criminalize’ meds which have therapeutic value. We have become a society wherein those with genuine pain/anxiety disorders are the ones suffering due to the actions of those w/ addiction and it’s unfair to the patient. last I checked we will always have ppl with addictions, we are not treating them either by placing non-violent in jail rather than rehab.

  • jen

    Doesn’t matter. I have been prescribed xanax foryears. And cant get a doc to prescribe me any benzo. I apoligize but I would rather live a full and happy lofe taking that chance…as opposed to not sleeping. And having the anxiety on a daily basis. But given the new laws it seems someone somewhere must be getting their way cause I am refused what I need.

  • tami

    I take adivar the last and have for the last 4 years i started on .5mg 3x aday then was increased to 1mg 3xa day then was hospitalized and dr increased to 2 mg 3 xa day and have been on it for the last year and a half now my dr dr wont give it to me because i tested posive for thc a little back ground i have eppilepsy, so i said to my dr wont it cause me to have a seizure she said no just start weaning yourself off of them and u should be fine well i just took my last half apill about an hour ago so we will see

  • kurt blanchard

    Turmeric has excellent brain-protectant properties, In India, they all use it to spice their food, and they have almost no Alzheimer’s disease. An ounce of prevention? I take two teaspoons in hot water, stirred well. Great on minor aches and pains, it’s a powerful anti-inflammatory as well. In India, it is used on esophageal carcinoma with a very high survival rate, a much better rate than radiation and chemotherapy affords.

  • genosgranny

    Benzos almost killed me. Used for anxiety & panic. They never made either better. Coming off gave me seizures. I now use a beta blocker. Works so much better, so much happier.

  • Jane Kirk

    Drug companies don’t give much of a care… as long as they can make their gazillion dollars, eh?! I ain’t playin. Addiction rules in the good old USA… legal and illegal.

  • Marion Clifford Main

    Holy crap folks, I guess many don’t remember the 70’s and 80’s and the use of benzos went out of favor because they are so highly addictive and the results from withdrawals which take a long time to do are horrendous….I couldn’t believe over the last ten years how much increase in Rx’s I was seeing….this stuff is nothing to play with and you and your loved ones are better served with another form of treatment or therapy to deal with the symptoms
    and the worst part is those that are put on them really believe they can’t function without them…and your body at a cellular reinforces this idiotic idea…this s^&t is VERY DANGEROUS

  • tommy johnston

    I am a 56 year old man I was severely addicted to Xanax for several years I was up to 20 mg, a day it took me over three years to get over it, I hallucinated for over a year I lost 75 lbs. I thought I had electricity coming out of my fingertips, horable stinking night swets went months with no sleep, couldn’t eat couldn’t sleep for months and months I lost everything I owned including eight rental houses as well as my home and business.. I have been addicted to oxycodone as well but opiates are a piece of cake compared to benzos.

  • wanda ruff

    I am on ativan 1 am and 1 pm and want to come off I don’t know when was the last time I felt I was in the real world I go place but feels like I am not there. they tell me the depression and anxiety has affected my vision can see good like looking through a dirty windsheild after it has rain sick of it

  • Tara

    Sorry but I will continue to take mine I have bi polar and I will go in mania highs and not sleep at all up 24/7 for 6 days or longer at a time I know I’am at risk but not sleeping is not good for bi. Polar people my drs tell me I have to have 8 hrs or more sleep a night or I have mania highs and I literally get delusional when I go that long with no sleep so I’am thankful for my seroquel and klonopin

  • Kimber

    I too was on Xanax for years for generalized Anxiety, Battered Wife Syndrome, and Insomnia. A doctor failed to refill my script and I was forced to go off cold Turkey, when by Friday, she failed to call in my refill. I went into an uncontrollable electrocardiol shock, losing control of my motor skills and heart rated was beyond life expectancy high. I got to ER and lived to tell. The next month, same thing happened. I have permanent physical damage from this. Needless to say, I decided not to be on something that could kill me when mistakes like this are made. I now take Organic Holy Basil which calms me down fine. It leaves no drug feeling, or hang over the next day. Best part is there is no withdrawal scares or side effects from it. I didn’t know about the information within this article, but just gives me one more reason to be glad I’m off of the Benzo’s.

  • Kimber

    I apologise there are some word changes due to my auto correct on my phone. I hope you understand my previous post.

  • Guest

    For those looking to quit, give Kratom some consideration. It is a tropical deciduous and evergreen tree in the coffee family (Rubiaceae) native to Southeast Asia in the Indochina and Malesia floristic regions. Its leaves are used for medicinal properties. It ispsychoactive, and leaves are chewed to uplift mood and to treat health problems.[4] M. speciosa is indigenous to Thailand and, despite growing naturally in the country, has been outlawed for 70 years and was originally banned because it was reducing the Thai government’s tax revenue from opium distribution.

    Kratom behaves as a μ-opioid receptor agonist like morphine and is used in the management of chronic pain.

    Some strains such as Red Relief, put me to sleep right away and squash all anxiety. There are several vendors online, but if you want to know more, check out Green Leaf Kratom.

  • http://www.nourish-balance-heal.com Pepper Culpepper

    For those looking to quit, give Kratom some consideration. It is a tropical deciduous and evergreen tree in the coffee family (Rubiaceae) native to Southeast Asia in the Indochina and Malesia floristic regions. Its leaves are used for medicinal properties. It is psychoactive, and leaves are chewed to uplift mood and to treat health problems.
    Kratom behaves as a μ-opioid receptor agonist like morphine and is used in the management of chronic pain.

    Some strains such as Red Relief, put me to sleep right away and squash all anxiety. There are several vendors online, but if you want to know more, check out Green Leaf Kratom.

  • Helen Islas

    I have general anxiety disorder w/panic attacks triggered by PTSD. Have been on benzo’s up to 1 yr ago. Unknowing of the side effects, I still gave the bottles back to my shrink. I chose to use alternative ways to cope. It doesn’t work as well as the pills, but I deal with getting a couple of hours sleep, waking for 1-2 hours and sleep again. I still have bad anxiety where I shake uncontrollably and its then I wish I had my benzo. The truth is I want it quite often, but I have yet allowed to succumb back to the addiction.


    To each make your own decision to take or not to take , it is your life not mine .

  • Lisa Schiro

    Also, it’s a drug used for ulcerative colitis that is has less bad effects and works better than some of these “new” drugs that are being pushed & then cause horrible side effects!

  • hotfishnora1

    You defenders do realize that your comments make you sound exactly like addicts making excuses, right?

  • Gib Wess

    I’ve taken benzos since I was 22 for severe panic disorder am now 45 an have no adverse affects, If it gets you high you probably don’t need it, If it makes you normal like it does me, I’ll keep taking them for the better qaulity of life they provide the much needed relief from severe panic attacks were nothing else has worked

  • Patti A. Cunningham

    Very disturbing. Why aren’t longterm effects of EVERY med studied before the population is given them and we become addicted? Outrageous.. We are guinea pigs.

  • Marion Clifford Main

    Folks, they figured this stuff out in the late 70’s and 80’s…..I was horrified when they started putting people back on this stuff in the 2000’s…..this is stuff for SHORT TERM use to combine with the start of therapy….NOT A SOLUTION…..worst stuff to come off of and really nasty side effects…….

  • Marion Clifford Main

    and medications like this contribute to the problem continuing…..as in NOT GETTING CURED or helped in the long run…Dangerous dangerous meds…STAY AWAY….it feels like it helps in the beginning….and then you can’t function with out it eventually

  • Shawna

    the way I look at it is everything has its risks dot dot dot I lost my son for years ago and without xanax I would not be able to sleep or function normally would I have in the rings I d. Would much rather live without having panic attack and anxiety and take my xanax when needed then worry about what’s going to happen later down the road

  • Fatima DeBem-Bailey

    Chamomile tea is very good to calm you down, help you sleep and is also good for your stomach.No side effects

  • Fatima DeBem-Bailey

    All medicine come with side effects and one of them that is very important is that destroys your liver. Try natural herbs they are very healthy and can help you in any different situation which you are going through. Live healthy :)

  • sandy

    i suffer anxiety and panic attacks Xanax is what i use but since all these study have come out my dr. is taking me off he’s been detoxing me off them and trying all kinds of other grap that hasn’t done anything but cause me problems now i’m out of luck i will have to suffer or find a dr that will give me meds that i need thats what this study has done for me the feds are now in our medical care telling our dr’s what they can and can’t do 1st it was the insurance groups who will it be dictating to our dr’s next?

  • Bradley Marema

    I’ve been on Alprazolam 2mg SID for years. It was prescribed to me for generalized anxiety disorder and panic attacks. I take one every night before bed. I know it is an addictive drug but I do not ever change my dosage its always been the same. I don’t find it to be a drug in which I feel the need to take more and more in order to get the desired effect like opiates for pain do. Therefore I do not see the justification in changing the DEA classification on this drug. Those of us for whom it has been prescribed to by our physicians are taking it for a good reason and do not need to be subject to all of the added aggravation that will ensue if this drug is reclassified as a schedule III or schedule II drug. I think it is already ridiculous that the DEA has reclassified HCD’s Hydrocodone Containing Drugs, from a schedule IV to a schedule II drug. As a person who has to do the ordering of all pharmaceuticals for the veterinary practice where I am employed it is a major hassle to get schedule II drugs. A lot of extra paper work which has to be filled out in a specific fashion on a triplicate carbon copy form in which you have to retain your copy and the carbon paper in your file. If you don’t and you are audited and the stupid carbon paper isn’t there you’re screwed. Ridiculous… Unnecessary and ineffective way of curbing recreational use of a drug. All reclassifying does is increase the penalties for drug dealers and drug addicts which dont get me wrong I’m all for that but why should the rest of us suffer from this. And as far as Benzo’s causing AD. Where’s the proof? Exactly what is the hypothesis?

    • Jeri Tresler

      These drugs are very dangerous and the main problem is NOT with “recreational use”. It is when people take the drugs as directed by their doctors. These drugs have led to an unbelievable amount of pain and suffering for so many people. They have been through hell. Some of them for years. Some of it has been so bad, that people actually kill themselves to get away from it.

      But I guess that’s nothing compared to you having to fill out a little additional paperwork and keep track of some carbon paper, right?

      Do some research.

      • Tye Kenneth Lawson

        FYI: my allergist asked me-“Do you use recreational drugs”? My answer true or not was-“only if you conciderable sleep a recreation” I am using Adderall not for sleep but to function properly. Is that OKAY?

  • Chip Kelly

    My Dr. wont prescribe it to me cause of my past history its stupid cause i never abused drugs and my anixiety is terrible

  • Michele Smart

    Everyone should read the book Ultra Mind Solution. I highly recommend it. The gut controls alot more than you realize. On another note, call me a whimp but I do not take drugs or pills from doctors. I like to be in my right mind.

  • kevan_mericle

    medicine has such terrible side effects. I am a drug addict in recovery and i am amazed at the medicine Doctors prescribe and the amounts the prescribe them in. After being an addict for 15 years I no longer take anything. That works best for me and I can only speak for myself. There are other ways to deal with my anxiety than turning to drugs!

  • Laura Propst

    There are many natural ways to deal with anxiety. Check your diet and elimimate caffiene, processed foods, meat sold in grocery and increase your veggies. In other words, eat healthy. If you still suffer use exersize, meditation, yoga and find natural herbs. It really works!! Start with a body detox and do a cleanse for a week or so. Amazing the difference you will see. I have never been better and my life is full of stress. I work full time, run a non profit and deal with a lot of issues besides. I will never use these pills. I have seen the destruction first hand.

  • Jo Ann Cooper Troupe

    I feel same way Gad is awful I have trouble some days just leaving my house. I take klonopin to sleep. Dodoes my husband. We both take iT for ptsd too snd anxiety.

  • Bill Stakum

    Ive been takin 2mg of xanax a day for the last year I been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, on top of ptsd, depression and impulse disorder and I am an addict in recovery from herion I am also on methadone for that and paxil for depression my regime of methadone, paxil, and xanex keeps me where I need to be my anxiety is at an all time low I sleep very well and my ptsd is manegable b fore I was placed on xanax and got clean I was a complete mess. If u askes me xanex pretty much eliminated my anxiety and ptsd and methadone elimnated my withdrawals and cravings for opiates so in that being said I live a much better life

  • Dani Stauber

    I have suffered with anxiety and panic disorder since the age of 12, so bad that I couldn’t go out of my house for awhile, so when canal came along it was like a miracle. After 6 Yeats of daily use my doctor said it was time to go off it. It was the hardest ans worst experience of my life but I thank God everyday that I got off them. I didn’t realize how much xanax had killed off who I was and numbed me so completely. I still deal with the anxiety and with out benzodiazepines some days it’s very very hard, but I am still glad that I am off it.

  • Mary Clayton

    I can’t take benzodiazepines or tricyclics due to severe side effects seizures,abnormal heart rhytmns, dangerously low blood pressure etc I also take verapamil 120mg for cluster headaches and there are alot of interactions between it and anxiety medications, so for now my doctor has given me 25mg vistaril 3x a day. I can’t deal with the cluster headaches or the GAD its been a long difficult hair pulling road for me trying to get help. I’m hoping the vistaril will work.

  • matt

    reading this gave me a panic attack.

  • Kathy Carroll

    I am also between a rock and the hard place.I haveCOPD and am on oxygen.I suffer from severe panic attacks but had to go off KLONOPIN because it does not go with pain medication I take.I cannot give that up but God help me I have to try to deal with panic.I am seeing a therapist for help, but several times thought I would die. I REALLY think benzos are the thing if you have panic disorders but what about us who cannot take it.They need to help those who cannot take them.

  • Sheck Shecker

    Then legalize weed. there are some strains that help with anxiety. Natural safe alternative.

    • Huytongirl

      Grass me the worst panic attack of my adult life. There is nothing “safe” about someone stoned behind the wheel of a car. And nightshade is “natural”. Useless to replace one drug with another. A different monkey on your back? Better none at all.

  • Monica

    I’ve been taking Xanax for 19 years now, and now up to 2mg. 3 times daily as needed. I don’t take them typically through the day if I can use my other non medicinal methods to get me through the anxiety and agoraphobia. I mainly take them to help me sleep or I cannot fall asleep for days. I’ve tried to get a Dr to put me through medical detox as I’ve experienced withdrawal more than once. I don’t want to have to use these. I don’t want to be on all the meds. But at this point, w all that I have to take, I’m risking my life by quitting or weaning as one has suggested. If I need some meds, ok, but 19 yrs is not good for anyone! And I don’t need an official study to confirm that. I myself know that something isn’t right. I’m afraid of the outcome either way.

    • Jeri Tresler

      You can come off them, the key is to go very slowly. Ridiculously slowly, and hold when the withdrawal symptoms become problematic.

      link to benzo.org.uk

  • Lisa Ahlbrandt

    With fear of any of the ssri meds, I went to a holistic doctor who treated my anxiety/depression & ptsd with a magnesium supplement coupled with a B-complex and a supplement called zen (L-theanine, melatonin blend w others) It was the very best thing that ever happened two me. It was as if everything dissappeared within a few days without ANY side affects. I felt genuinely wonderful, slept better and had a nice energy level as well. It got to the root of the problem and I could finally get rid of the “band-aid” medication covering the symptoms….instead of actually treating them. Treatment means there’s an end to it, a cure of sorts that helps heal whatever deficiency is causing the disorder.

  • mary

    everyone should just stop taking this stuff and start smoking pot, or find other natural methods for symptom relief. for me relief came in the form of smoking pot twice weekly and changing my everyday diet. you have no idea how much stress and anxiety dropped off my shoulders when i cut out sugars and added more vegetables to my daily eating habits

    • Huytongirl

      Cannabis gave me the worst panic attack I have had in my adult life. Drugs to alter moods – no point. We need to face our feelings.

  • Danielle Landry

    I’m 33 years old. I have been on xanax about 8 years. My doctor ended up putting me on 2 mg 4 times a day. I have been catching panic attacks like crazy. It is ruining my life. I have two children. I can’t work, can’t take my kids to the park etc… My doctor just took me off of xanax and switched me to klonopin 2 mg. 3 times a day. I find they are possibly working but I do want to get off all together but I don’t see that happening at all…

    • daran ali

      Why did you start when you were 25? Was there a loss of security somewhere? Klonopin has the longest half life of about 30 hours. Taking it 3 times a day is beyond terrible. Although it is a year after your post I am sure you are still on it. Klonopin withdrawal last for months, maybe even a year at a time. Doing that while working on the real issues makes it very hard to achieve. Especially for a busy mom. If I were you, I’d get the support and try and have a life. You will regret losing all these great years, truly feeling life and the beaut of your family. You will just be numb.

  • DJ

    People go to drugs waaaaay to fast. There are soo many alternatives to options. EXERCISE…. Oh but wait people want instant gratification…. and exercise might take a little bit of time to form a life long cure or treatment… When taking a drug fixes it by numbing reality in 20 min…. That’s right, lazy America. Sorry if I sound insensitive but I’m so sick of doctors just giving out pilss to anyone without trying a long term healthy solution ….. FOCUS MORE ON prevention than acute chemical treatment.

    • Gliding Buzzard

      Well I disagree with you. I probably did as much exercise as anyone. Handling and stacking 40,000 bales of heavy hay per year. Plus I competed in sports and would practice in the evening until 10 pm. Then one day I got whiplashed and spent 3 months with deliberating anxiety. Unable to work, eat, relax, do anything worth while. Went to all kinds of doctors including chiropractors. Then finally went to a doctor who put me on benzo’s. Have been normal and able to function like a normal human ever since. Was able to get back to work, to practice sports, etc.

  • Stella Putnam

    I have been on XANAX for years now. The fear of living my life with panic attacks and extreme anxiety is lot worse than me being on benzos. I am content on my meds and my life as it is now.

  • Guest
  • tracy smith

    i too suffer from high anxiety and depression.. ive been on three different perscripions for 5 years now and i really need them or i lose my mind..lol

    • Gone WiththeWind

      Yup, you lose your mind due to WITHDRAWALS, not decompensation!

      • daran ali

        GWTW is correct!

  • Damiyan An Tasha

    I hate the weight gain and my thinning hair I have been on them over 10 years since 21. My anxiety attacks are still bad and I feel myself getting worse. I dont know what to do. I believe one day Ill be in a Home for ppl like me! I am so scared.

    • Jeri Tresler

      Do some research. The drugs could be CAUSING your symptoms. They often do make people worse.

      Start at http://www.benzo.org.uk

      And find a Facebook support group for benzodiazepine withdrawal, or Google ‘Benzo Buddies’ for more information.

      Thinning hair, weight gain, and anxiety can all be from thyroid. Educate yourself, then make them run a full panel on your thyroid, NOT just the TSH test.

      link to stopthethyroidmadness.com

    • daran ali

      I hope one day you have the ability and strength to learn the truth and free yourself from the toxic path of medications.

  • Jessica Hodges


  • Jessica Hodges


    • Dwight Swaney


  • Jessica Hodges

    I have been on xanax and Clonapin. I can’t sleep without it not to mention I have severe anxiety. You would not believe how little things get under my skin. I have panic attacks and feel like I am dying. I would rather take the meds and take the chance of getting the AD bc we are never promised tomorrow. By saying that I just believe what is meant to be will be and I will not live the way I live when I am off my meds bc I am depressed, have anxiety and cannot sleep. I don’t know how long I will live so why should I stress over something that may happen when I am old. At least if I take my meds I can live a non stressful life now and at the same time be able to sleep. I think it’s great that they are doing all these studies, but at the same time I believe it should be up to the individual that is taking the meds, not someone who has no idea how we live without the meds. I guess if they are not dealing with it themselves they don’t realize how bad it can be.

    • Gone WiththeWind

      It’s most likely withdrawals, NOT decompensation!!! These drugs are sneaky and tricky like that!

      • tessa barstow

        I have similar symptoms to Jessica and I feel as if I am eroding from the inside. I have been on strong hypnotic sleeping meds since 1982. (I was involved in a very bad car accident and was put on them so I could sleep without fear. I also have been on a anti anxiety drug called Azor. (I live in South Africa and when I look up on Benzos it is not mentioned. I went into rehad for 3 weeks and have been out for a month. I have lost weight from a size 10 to a size 6. I force myself to eat but it is not helping. I get no answers from anyone, even at the rehab!! They say it could take many months or years. The anxiety attacks are worse, terrible nightmares, always shaky, I cannot concentrate on anything at all. I cannot work, I cannot be with on my own in any shops our family gatherings. Whoever reads this, including yourself IS THERE a light out there for me to hold onto. Even praying is hard, even writing this has been hard. FBook friends I do not even answer because I find the wrong words. No one understands. I am 67 and do not want to kill myself I just want to get back to being ME. I did bloods and they came back normal. It has been suggested that I suffer now from chronic fatigue. The reason for going into rehad was because I WAS feeling totally exhausted, and my son suggested it. Do I contact psychiatrists,? I need help very badly. I sleep for about 5 hours to wake with extreme anxiety and .very weird unexplained thoughts. I feel as if I am going mad.
        Thank you for your time . I do not know how to see if you have answered, but my name is Tessa Barstow and I am on Face book. I live in Durban South Africa. Thank You.

      • daran ali

        GWTW is right!

  • sicofgovt

    I checked the mayo clinics page, you know the geniuses, and they gave causes that could lead to Alzheimers and nothing on that page mentioned Benzos. This is all I need is reading stuff like this page and getting more anxiety. I know I could get off of them, but what about sleep??? Being on them as long as I have its gonna take awhile to get my regular sleep pattern

  • maryann26

    I suffer from severe and debilitating anxiety—-panic attacks, agoraphobia, social phobia, GAD, OCD. I tried all talking therapies, anti-depressants, and none of them worked for me. I was disabled, able to get nothing done. A psychiatrist switched me to a long lasting benzodiazepine, and it has worked very effectively. I take what is considered a high dose. I would rather be able to live life and take some risk. There are no perfect medications. I can now enjoy life, and I have been able to rebuild my career. In my case, I do not see that there is any existing treatments other than benzodiazepines. I would rather live life than be disabled. I also know that benzodiazepine bashing is a sport and reaches hysteria.

    • Jeri Tresler

      It is not a sport to people who have had their lives ruined by these drugs. For one to be ‘hysterical’ because of the damage these drugs have done to them, would be a mild reaction in most cases. Benzos often work well for a time, but then one finds themselves in tolerance withdrawal, requiring higher and higher doses. And trying to come off them can produce such horrifying symptoms that people actually commit suicide in order to get away from them.

      What you refer to as “some risk” is the equivalent of playing Russian Roulette with your life, your health, your job, and your relationships. Not to mention the very genuine risk of dementia. I would urge you to talk to people who have had problems with this drug, do some real research into what can happen to you by taking it, and then decide if it’s worth the risk.

      • maryann26

        I tried all the talking therapies, which did no good. I tried anti-depressants, which did no good. i tried talk therapy and anti-depressants together, which did no good. I went to many different therapists, all of whom did were not helpful. They did not accept insurance of any kind, although they expected the checks and cashed them extremely quickly. I see a lot of money gone down the DRAIN on therapists that will have a person coming back forever while making NO IMPROVEMENT. I was disabled by the time I tried benzodiazepines. I was so ill that my parents had to take me to appointments, and I thought I would be hospitalized. I was not willing to live a life of disability. I watched my diet, exercised, meditated, did yoga, all of which did not put a dent in the debilitating anxieties that had me crippled. I could not start my career or even go out. The last doctor I saw tried benzodiazepines, and they worked and they still work. I expect to be taking benzodiazepines until I die. They have saved my life, literally. I have no negative side-effects of any kind from them, and I am able to live and enjoy life. It is also my business what treatment I take. For me, the “risks” are worth it. All medications have risks. It is up to the person to decide if she or he will accept those risks. Benzodiazepines are old medications. They are vilified unjustifiably. There is no money in benzodiazepines for the drug companies. Follow the patents. When you have a cure of some kind for these conditions, tell everyone about it.

        • Huytongirl

          You are right, it is up to you. I suppose what people here feel is that they see their former selves in the pro-benzo posts. I can remember telling myself that taking them was better than committing suicide, which is what I felt like doing. But after months of that, the suicidal feelings were worse. I wish now I had faced my feelings rather than tranquilizing them away. But at the time I would have been in too much distress to care.

          I don’t much care about the supposed link with dementia – it does not sound at all proven – what I care about is the way these pills erode the self, day by day. And I’ve been off them for a week and I feel awful. But I know now I have to face my feelings, not drug them away. I am not saying that’s easy. It’s horrific. But what’s the alternative? go back on benzos and end up overdosing? Even if it didn’t kill me it could leave me blind or in a wheelchair. Hardly an improvement.

          • maryann26

            I’ve never had any negative side-effects from benzodiazepines. Other treatments failed miserably. I would be living a life of disability or I’d be dead from suicide. I do not see taking benzodiazepine as any different from people taking medications for years for other medical conditions. For me, benzodiazepines have been life saving medications. I am able to live my life fully and enjoy it.

            I hope you will be feeling better, that you find the right answers to what is causing your distress.

    • Gone WiththeWind

      Good luck in the long-term…

      • maryann26

        Do you have any treatments for people who find no help in other existing treatments, all of which have their own risks? Do you think a life of disability is better? I don’t think a life of disability is worth living when there are medications that can be very effective. There was no point in continuing with treatments that failed miserably. Everyone who is taking medication for any reason is taking some risk. You have no cures for these conditions. That is a certainty. If you ever find any, then talk.

        • daran ali

          There is a cure. Its called enlightenment of the mind. Understanding why,when and how you became that way. Understanding your parents, maybe even your grand parents. Where they went wrong and what unstable behavior was past down to you.

          • JC

            I know this is late in response but your half right and half total wrong. I started to get in to the whole “Re-think about the way I think kick” and it is total a power house that can change your mindset and maybe reduce medication. I recently got into Tony Robbins and Caroline Leaf and it’s made a big improvement in the way I think. “We are what we think right” I have added extra routines in my day to better my brain function and mind set. But it hasn’t cured by Bipolar and when unmedicated I hallucinate, have depression, paranoia you name it. I am just going to make this simply dementia, bipolar and diseases of the brain are real and need medication and other therapy. You had a breakthrough and got off meds great for you. If you have a guide line we can follow to also have breakthrough than share it in detail, because your message came off like a know it all, jerk. Just saying man.

            • daran ali

              I am a sensitive soul, angered by what big pharma has done. In no way am I an arrogant person. Please ask any empath that experienced abuse. They love to serve and protect. There was no break trough, i had to do massive work. I am undermining others pains. I lived it. I am not selling product or a “cure”. Everyone’s story is different but the pain and struggle is the same. I am writing a book detailing the corruption, my struggle and freedom. I don’t live an easy life, but I am free. I can feel things correctly. I will publish and distribute it for free. In here to help. Someone wrote “are you having a manic episode”. I have a doctor who has confirmed no mania in 2 years. I have another who once claimed be bi-polar who now says no. Just GAD. I would be happy to share this and more. Please email me. It is possible. You MUST go to the root of your childhood, process, accept and adjust to the circumstances that made you unwell. When you logically understand your brain will over power with practice, exposure and hell hard work.

          • janet

            NO accidents HAPPEN I was slammed 30 ft to the ground at a high velocity and it ripped my face off and caused my entire body to be damaged! I never needed a shrink I NEEDED MY jaw wired. I havephysical damage that I cannot just think away. I became this way because of an industrial accident and im so angry that drs think i need to talk obout my childhood I lost everything! And if I do not have alprazolam I shake uncontrollably. it works for me and Im sick of ppl that abuse them making MY life unbearable!

      • Paula Proulx

        I am almost 63 years old. I have been on clonazepam for almost 23 years, as well as anti-depressants for the same amount of time. I have suffered from clinical depression since my teen years. I have always had specific phobias that I could avoid. When I turned 20, my phobias turned unmanageable and I developed severe panic disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. I trained as an RN from age 20 to 22 years old. Going through the psych part of my training, I learned that there was no help for my problems. I saw psychiatrists, who gave me no hope.
        I was also a pianist, and lost a career in teaching piano because of severe performance anxiety. I studied for 16 years, and was accepted into a University Music School. My audition was terrifying, and I blanked out on a piece that I had played for 2 years. Since being in the program required performing, I did not enter, as I could not perform.
        I have had 4 children. In addition to living with GAD, AD and depression, I developed Post Partum Psychosis 8 months after the birth of my second child. There are no words to describe what I lived through. When it was finally diagnosed and my medication ( Nardil, an Mao inhibitor ) finally worked, I had suffered for almost two months. After my 3rd child, I had Post Partum a Depression. I was put on a tricyclic anti depressant – Anafranil.
        My depression and phobias ruled my life; I lived a different life than most people – my world was getting smaller, and one of my phobias ( my worst ) was taking over my life. I was a nurse, and I knew I would eventually die, with no help.
        I went a psychologist and got worse, so my GP sent me to a new psychiatrist. I told him everything and he said, to my shock and surprise, “we have something for that now”. Of course, I was skeptical at first.
        The SSRI’s had just come out, and he wanted to put me on clonazepam as well. He explained that it was addictive, but as he said – I could be addicted to the drug or my current state of living for the rest of my life. I chose the clonazepam and newer anti-depressant.
        I can honestly say that my life began at 40. It seemed to good to believe! But it is the truth. When I hear people talk about terrible side effects from benzodiazepines, I cannot say anything since none of them apply to me. Every phobia vanished.
        I became a swimming teacher and earned my NLS Lifeguard award at 48 years old. I was always the smartest in any class I took after the clonazepam. I started my nursing resert at 50. I had not been a nurse for 25 years. The info was more in depth and different than when I was a nurse. I passed every exam on the first try, and had a 95 % average.
        My husband of 40 years cannot see any difference in me, intelligent wise, emotionally ( except that I am not looking terrified and trapped ). I had not flown in 23 years. I now love flying.
        I will never come off of my clonazepam and go back to the hell I lived in. This runs in our family, so may have a genetic component. Many relatives live like I did to a lesser degree. I truly think I was a worst case scenario.
        I just want someone to hear what my journey with ” benzos” has been like. I am so tired of hearing nothing but negative comments.

        • Freaking Freda

          I hope the nurse(Paula Proulx) who wrote the above reads this. I also was a nurse. I retired due to a neck injury,but I have been on Valium/Clonazapam /Lorazapam (not all at the same time)since age 19.I am 66 now. I have taken Prozac ocassionally, but what I thought was depression was nothing compared to how I feel now. Now they won’t give me Prozac. Say it will cause sleeplessness. It didn’t cause that for me before,but they won’t listen to me. They wanted me to take two of the older antidepressants which actually make me feel depressed. I was also on Oxycodone for past 12 years. They took me off of all of that and are saying an antipsychotic and the the older antidepressant should help with anxiety(generalized and agoraphobia)sleeplessness,chronic severe pain and depression.5 disorders helped from two drugs.I don’t think so! It is going on 4 months now. They are weaning me off one of the old antidepressants and they are trying an antipsychotic in place of it because they think it is causing suicidal feelings. I try to tell them it is not just that one medication, it is that none of them are helping. I feel worse than I ever have and want the medications that I took before. They helped. They say the ones I was taking(Valium + Oxycodone) can cause confusion and a feeling like a hangover. Well I never felt those things. Never was confused or depressed. Now they want me to take things that can lead to a stroke. I would rather have a little hang over feeling than a stroke. I think the risks should be decided by the patient,not someone else. We are the only ones who really know how we feel. I have not socialized in 3 months and they are trying to tell me this is better for me.This is absolutely NO LIFE!!! Things were fine and now living is not worth the trouble. The only thing that keeps me going is the hope that if things don’t improve on these meds.,they will put me back on the things that help. I know where to get things illegally that help my pain+ sleeplessness. I am in constant pain.Although I can get things to help me sleep and ease my pain illegally, I have only done that once. I told my PCP that older people who never abused their meds and never used illegal drugs or alcohol will turn to these things things if they are not given the medications that have HELPED them for so long. Also, I have taken Adderal. My mother took diet pills the entire time she carried me. She lost 40lbs. rather than eating right and gaining. I don’t blame her. They didn’t know back then that that was harmful. I believe that what ever connections my brain was supposed to develop during that time,were never developed or was not developed properly; that is why I need to take medicines that help my brain make the proper connections.That is how one psychiatrist explained things to me. She retired and I can’t find a Dr. who thinks like she did.I had to study ALL night every night to get through nursing school. I almost rewrote every text book to get it into my mind. Twenty three years after I was born,, my mom was still taking the diet pills. My sister started steeling them to get the energy to clean the house. She told me to try them. I did and noticed I could retain information better and recall it for exams or while I was working.I only used them a few times;one time being while I was taking the state boards. I got the highest score in the class and second highest in the state.I was later,about age 40, tested and told I had ADD(no H) I knew that since 5th grade.They called it MBD back then and they seldom helped children;just pushed them through.At age 11 or 12, I went to the library and looked up learning disabilities and found out why I was not getting good grades and why I was so messy.It was not treated until I was about 40.I had been on Adderal off and on since then. I started taking it occasionally last Jan. but they won’t give me anymore of that either.They say it causes anxiety and insomnia. They don’t realize that it has a calming effect on the people who really need it.I also believe that the diet pills my mother took may be the reason that I do not respond in a typical way to some meds.I hope they don’t give ADD/ADHD meds to pregnant woman now. I think they may harm the fetus;may cause ADD in the children and abnormal responses to medications. Of course I have no proof of this. I wish someone would do a study on people who were exposed to amphetamines in the womb.They did a genetic test on me and it showed I should be able to take the meds I have been taken with no trouble.The test shows meds I should be able to take,others I may have some trouble with and others that I should never take. It also shows what I have been telling Dr.’s for years. I am a fast metabolizer. Therefore some meds do not help for as long as they should. Pain medication and anxiety medication only help for about 5 hours instead of the eight hours they are supposed to help.I have had to suffer with pain and anxiety for 3 hrs.until it is time for me to take another dose. They now see that all of this is true from the genetic test,but still won’t give me the medications that help. I think maybe the fact that I metabolize Valium in 5 hours might be the reason that I never felt groggy(hangover) or any of the other side effects. It doesn’t have the same half life for me,They won’t consider all of this even now when they can see it from the genetic test. I don’t know if this means I should be given the medications more frequently,but I do think they should think about what the genetic tests show and prescribe the meds it says I can take. The government pays for this test for anyone who can’t pay. I think they test everyone whom they want to treat now. Apparently the test was a waste of time and money and of no help to me. I hope this will not happen to you. May God bless you and help you to continue to get the proper help you need.
          Freaking out Freida.

          • Jack

            Glad you are so smart, your forgetting the most important part to recovery. I agree meds are a root of alot of destruction. There are folks who have real issues that require meds, and are being treated like an dope head because of these no it all reformed addicts who want to blame others for actually being either uneducated about these drugs. Whats going on today is criminal for the people who truly suffer and now are not being treated humanely, insteaded they’ve been thtowed under the bus the the medical systems that treats even chronic issues as those who now claim to have found god in there. recovery and feeling good from beong freed from the terrible side effects of these terrible drugs. Which I can tell was brought on by the same cause, dr. not properly winning, instead passed you to someone to stop giving you poison they gave you for years and its a crime. In short what about they ligitmate people who want a quality of life, shoul they be refused because the real abusers that dont need it. No maybe we got a problem, with the 1st oath; do no harm to both party’s. Dont hurt someone just because your not really doctoring real thing’s. You are just a number and never the patient anymore. Thats the root of all evil I hear in hear.

        • daran ali

          Did your parents also have phobias?

    • daran ali

      Id like to send you a video of me withdrawing from Klonopin, trembling, soaked in sweat, unable to open my eyes because the light was to bright or close them because I would spin out of control. Then I’d like you to tell me what part of it is sport?

      Your OCD is nothing more then insecurity– hence why you need to control and make sure everything is securly in place just as you want it. Your panic and social phobia is just fear of judgement and abuse.

      Did you try internal family systems?

  • Umms

    I have taken 35 pills of xanax. Out of those 35 pills 15 were of 0.5 mg and 20 were of 0.25 mg, because of some depression. Im a 20 year old girl and not addicted or use to any kind of pills or medicines. Still take syrups. What should i do now? should i get my stomach washed ? please suggest.. 6 days has passed. And Im still not get over it. Please Suggest something ?

    • jeremy

      no offense or anyting, i would never insult anyone withdrawing but thats not that high of benzo use, i went to a detox after going thru ninety 2mg bars and i was weaned off in like 4 1/2 days day 1 was considered a day and i left as soon as i could get a legit discharge (morning of day 5) thats 180mg total in a month, i would honestly try to tough it out if you’re not hallucinating or experiencing super servere withdrawal, plus xanax has a short half life! you’re through the worst of it! positive thoughts, proper nutrition and if you can minor exercise like a walk around the block. i know it sucks right now, use benydral (typo) or any over the counter med with diphenhydramine to help you sleep. if you don’t start feeling better soon see a doc or psychologist. but don’t let a psychologist fool you and put you on anti-depressants. those are worse than any kind of withdrawal i’ve ever been through and i’ve been through withdrawals that can indeed kill you. opiate withdrawal not included which i’ve gone thru,

  • Jeri Tresler

    Xanax may work at first, but it can lead to a WORSENING of your symptoms. It can bring on symptoms that are so bad, you’ll wish for the ones you started taking it for. I would urge you to research this, these drugs are very dangerous, and the only ‘reason’ they are legal is for pharmaceutical companies to make a profit from them.

    • Huytongirl

      I too took benzos to get rid of depression. But it came back far, far worse than before. Then you get into a treadmill of taking a drug to ease the depression, having it go for a day or so, then having it come back much, much worse, and taking more of that drug to make it go away again. They are anti-depressant only in the way that alcohol is: you feel great when you’re drunk, but it will not last. And like alcohol it actually causes depression.

    • daran ali

      VERY accurate

  • Gone WiththeWind

    The root cause of anxiety and depression needs to be treated first!!! Usually it’s related to inflammation, toxicity, nutritional deficiencies, thyroid issues, damage from other pharmaceuticals, etc. There are MANY alternatives to explore first before resorting to these very dangerous drugs. These drugs only treat symptoms and although you may feel that they “saved your life” for a while, long-term you’re going to suffer a lot more than you’d ever imagined. These meds cause neuro-receptor downregulation and you’re going to need higher and higher doses to avoid withdrawals. The withdrawals are worse than heroin and can last years or even be permanent for some.

    You have no idea what brain damage feels like but believe me when I tell you that even severe anxiety and depression are a walk in the park compared to the 100+ symptoms some people get on these meds or in withdrawals…what about psychosis? Or having hallucinations for YEARS? Or akathisia? Or depersonalization/derealization? Or rage? Or suicidal urges (not depressive, just urges)? Or rectal spasms? Or fibro-like pain? Now imagine having these all AT THE SAME TIME! Nothing in life, compares to the damage these meds do, not even med-free childbirth. NOTHING! Don’t play Russian roulette with your BRAIN, the seat of your soul and personality!

    • daran ali

      VERY accurate!

    • Donna Journey

      Thank you so much. I needed to read your words.

  • Gone WiththeWind

    You may just be avoiding withdrawal-induced suicidal thoughts by taking Xanax…it’s most likely NOT decompensation but simply WITHDRAWALS!

  • Asurvivor

    Buspar is for depression, not anxiety. I took it and it made me feel like I was jumping out of my skin. Increased my anxiety x 1000. Everyone is different, and a lot of the times anxiety and depression go hand in hand. Talk with your MD and let them know exactly how you are feeling and what your concerns are. I strongly recommend counseling to go along with medication, one without the other is only treating half of the problem. Yes I speak from experience. Best of luck to you and remember you are not alone.

  • Huytongirl

    Benzos are lovely at first, but in the longer term they make your problems so much worse. I am trying to stay off them now because I am clinically depressed, and was taking them to get rid of that depression – and finding it made it far, far worse. I realised I was not recovering from the emotional pain I had gone through: the benzos I took to avoid the pain of it kept me at Day One. I realised that they were making my suicidal impulses far worse. And of course they are disinhibitory – not a good idea to take a drug that makes you want to die and strips you of common sense.

    I was also addicted between the ages of 16 and 24. Then, I went into tolerance withdrawal – ie, always withdrawing because I didn’t up the dose – and they gave me such severe agoraphobia that I lost 6 years of my life to it.

    This is not some health kick, this is not being some kind of Scientology anti-psychiatry, this is not “back to nature and take fish oils”, this is not some anti-pharma crusade. This is about a drug which, though useful for a few weeks, is horrifically dangerous in the longer term.

    There really is no such thing as a free lunch. The lovely warm feeling benzos give you, the absence of all anxiety – it’s like borrowing from the reserves of your brain at massive interest. And the brain will have to call that debt in.

    • V Kandinski

      TRUE. That’s the best summery I’ve ever read. You go Huytongirl!

    • Tye Kenneth Lawson

      Possibly I’m not willing to admit that benzodiazapines are all that habitually addictive. They are effective and offer a remedy for most people. I have a compression fracture at L -2 . The consensus of my Dr and pharmacist is that back surgery is highly risky and the benefits are more likey than not what you will expect. I’ll be the best judge of my choice of treatment. After all, I will be the recipient of the outcome.

    • harlem

      thats so really now i paying all that brain debt..ive been using bromazepam for 2 months now 1.5 mg a day..do i still a have a chance to get out from this???

  • darklordofgorgoroth

    I have bipolar disorder, a disease wich cannot be cured. Ever. I find that Valium helps me immensly, no doubt. However, I’ve also become addicted to it. The withdrawals are pure hell, especially when combined with bipolar disorder. I fear that I’ll be on this stuff for the rest of my life!

    • http://mylifeas3d.blogspot.com/ DeanDD

      darklordofgorgoroth… I totally understand. The best way to get off of Valium or any other benzo is to wean yourself off slowly, preferably under a doctor’s supervision. Maybe talk to your doctor about cutting your dosage slightly and see how that goes? Just a thought. It took me a long time to get off of Klonopin, but I’m glad I took the time and made the effort to do so. I’m thrilled to be free of that stuff. Best of luck to you.

    • jeremy

      1if you have good enough or state insurance check out a detox facility they’ll get you off it in like 5 days without suffering, yeah it sucks being in there but at least you know your safe and when you come out you wont need to worry about withdrawals

  • Tye Kenneth Lawson

    Buspar is ineffective and a waste of time and effort. It’s your call. It’s your life. The only one that really knows how you feel is you. That’s not to say that other people and their experiences with the issues of your condition don’t count. The only one who has been in your shoes is you.

  • daran ali

    Darklord, bipolar is not a disease. It is a temporary state of mind and easily curable. You were put on medications to mask your true issues; anger, bad parents, etc. These drugs perpetuate your symptoms and keep you sick. You are never able to process your issues correctly because you are numb. When you get sick trying to come off meds, you will be told it is because you need them. It’s simply physical dependency, the drugs are designed that way. You will just go in circles making the same mistakes until you free yourself. You have no disease. After 15 years I have come off benzo’s, anti depressants and mood stabilizers. I have yet to find anyone on the internet who has been on the toxic path(taking meds as prescribed) for as long as me and successfully come off and stay off.

    • popstand

      Daran, your comment is both wildly irresponsible and ignorant. bipolar disorder is most definitely a medical condition, and is not not presently curable. There are many, many disorders that are psychological in nature, and respond well to therapy and personal development, but severe bipolar disorder is not a psychological problem, it is a medical one. Would you also advise a type I diabetic stop taking their insulin? Do you think that every other part of your body is vulnerable to disease and dysfunction, with the exception the human brain, only the most complicated organ known to exist? Does that really make sense to you? Like diabetes, bipolar disorder is degenerative, and worsens without treatment. If you are able to function reasonably well in the long term without medication, then I’d question whether you ever had it in the first place, as people with certain personality disorders are too frequently diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and personality disorders tend to get better with accumulated experience rather than medications. Most importantly, you are shaming and stigmatizing people who are suffering, which can discourage them from seeking appropriate treatments. Germane to the topic at hand, benzodiazepines are only recommended in bipolar disorder when all other avenues have failed, and then only as an adjunct to other more therapeutic medications.

      • daran ali

        Using words such as “wildly” will not add weight to your words or discredit my truth. I have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars researching truth, sat with the world’s top doctors and researchers around the world, sat in years of therapy, have freed myself and no longer on the toxic path. I am not some adolescent sitting behind a screen being brave. I am not a person attempting to sell a program, diet or pill. I am a 35 year old executive living in New York City, offering my time to help anyone who needs. Over a decade of my life was taken from me. My journey has been well documented. Three doctors labeled me bi-polar over a decade ago and put me on medications. It eventually went to bi-polar 2, then under the bi-polar spectrum, to general anxiety disorder to mentally healthy. What changed? How did I become mentally healthy? “Would you also advise a type I diabetic stop taking their insulin?” You’d be dead in 2 weeks. This is ever doctors go to line. I’ve heard it 20 times in my life. From psych wards to rehab centers. I have been to both in my life and have seen how they drug you at both. Regarding the latter, all they do is take you off heroin and/or alcohol and put you on a pharmaceutical. Who owns these non-profit rehab centers? Where do they get their funding? Look at the drugs they are pushing inside and you will get your answer. I am not shamming anyone. I fought the battle where no one else has been successful. I lived it and prevailed. I am beyond qualified to speak. I have experienced all the pain and suffering first-hand. Being seconds from death, having seizures, living with dark depression for months year after year, being manic beyond understanding, having constant anxiety and panic. The reason people with “bi-polar” get worse is because they build a life around a mind that is incorrect, thus continuing a nasty downward trend. Medications mask the true cause of pain preventing any real progress. Psychotherapy while on medications will never bring you to peace. No one can improve on drugs because you never feel the core issue when on them. People struggle to come off medications because they were designed to keep you physically dependent. NOT because they are needed. Coming off most medications below will send you into a hell words cannot describe. You need to have the resources, time, massive support and STRENGTH. Most of the time people with the resources want comfort and lack the strength. While the people with potentially strength, don’t have the time or resources. “Bi-polar” is a temporary fluctuating state of mind and certainly not a “disease”. Like any muscle in the body, it requires training, discipline and constant work. It is NOT a disease that is incurable. I do not wish to hurt people with these words or even provoke, I am simply letting everyone know that I was there, lived the constant adjustment to medications, switching medications, mood stabilizers, anti-depressants, SSRI’s, stimulants, benzo’s. I’ve experienced all the side effects. I’ve lived with the highs and lows for months to even years at a time. I came to this forum to try and help the people withdrawing from Benzo’s. Prescribed at 1.5mg a day for 15 years, I am 2 years free of all medications. Insurance companies have interviewed me. Drug companies know my name. They have tried to take away my first amendment right and failed. Why did you trade your life for medications, maybe you were never given a chance and given medications since childhood? There is a VERY real answer. It is not a yoga pose, a diet or something as silly as removing sugar and gluten (though this never hurts). It is not electro-shock therapy or ever stopping cold turkey (this will just have you withdrawing so badly that you would rather die). There are no scans that can show a difference between a “bi-polar” brain vs a “normal” brain because this is a psychological issue. They can show activity and make claims, but medical doctors don’t have real answers. The same way they don’t truly know how lithium or other medications work. I have visited and studied everyone from Amen to Mayo and Cleveland clinics. A pill is instant gratification. If you are willing to do massive work and fight for your life, feel free to message me. Bi-polar, mania/depression is not a disease. Doctors, who are supposed to be trusted people, have made you believe that. So many people have wasted their entire life believing and testifying the same. It’s simply not true. They have taken an easier path…a toxic path.

        • ToStartandEnd

          Hi, Daran Ali. I was diagnosed first with GAD and later with severe bipolar I with anxious distress. I am one with the will to quit, but not the means or the resources. After going 6 months benzo free and having a complete lack of ability to function, I accrued a large amount of debt. I now find myself forced to continue taking them in order to survive. How would I message you to hear what you have to say? Thank you-

        • https://www.dontlikeitsueme.com Margaret Crasher

          Aren’t you an arrogant one.

          • Randal Snyder

            And he’s wrong also

        • Gertrude Stein

          Are you sure you are not just having a manic episode right now?

        • John Money

          You speak the truth! I need your help! I’m suffering so bad right now

        • Bud

          You make a lot of sense ,thankyou

        • brian nowak

          I need help I have been taking up to ten mgs xanax at least daily for plus ten years now they are getting me sick not working right need help please Brian Nowak I don’t have a job a home not even a friend any more

          • daran ali

            Brian, I do not believe my previous post went through. I am not a doctor, but if you would like to speak maybe I can suggest a couple of things. Sometimes even taking can help. AA and NA are designed around talk therapy and support. They are free. So are NAMI meetings.

    • Ellen

      Daran Ali,
      I have been on 2 mg/daily of Klonopin for 20 years. Only in the last year did I begin to wean down because I was told of the Alzheimer’s connection. Plus, Florida seems to be stricter than Oregon was over the matter of taking them. Just my experience. Moved from Oregon to Florida two years ago. The psychiatrist I had for almost 20 years had me on 2+ mg of Klonopin daily and usually saw me for only one check up a year after I stabilized with my OCD. How might I contact you to perhaps get your help?

  • jj

    I had a severe motorcycle accident 10 years ago. I was taking alprazapam (kalma) at the time.5 mgs. I did not know it was a benzodiazepam. I did ot know not to come off suddenly. So I decided to stop taking it. I was in hospital. damaged my vertebrae and spinal nerves.
    I never got better. The spinal nerve pain was unbearable. I finally had to give up my job. I was prescribed strong opiates ad they made little difference. My damaged spinal nerves were screaming 24/7 for 8 years. Then I finally got some relief by being prescribed .5 clonazepam (Rivrotril) and having a spinal nerve ablation. I the middle of the day my pain was so bad I still could not function. Then I read about Benzos and read the Aston Manual too late. I spent 4 months in hell by coming straight off the benzos. While I was i hospital my back pain returned and they had to give me more opitaes during the day. The GP tired to fix this by increasing my benzos from .5mgs to 2mgs clonazepam (Rivratril) which the equivalent was 120gs valium a day. This caused hallucinations falling and may other symptoms. I decided to come off. The hell for 4 months is indescribable because I had been taking benzos for many years. Benzos stop your nerve endings from making their own gabba. Mine never relearnt to make its own. I realise now I never got better because I stopped straight after the serious accident. The benzos were the reason for my 8 year agony until we found that a combination of benzos and opiates, and nerve ablation helped with my pain. DO NOT COLD TURKEY. Read the Ashton Manual. I now realise the reason I ever got better is because my system was dependent on benzos making the gabba for for me ad never relearning. It is oly recently that I learnt the medicines were benzos.

    I believe I ever recovered becuase I gave up benzos – I was taking .5 klonopin 3X a day then cut off. ,5mgs = 10mgs of vallium. I had bee taking 30mgs of valium a day equivalent.

    I have written this to warn, if you are taking benzo and have a serious accident do not come off them during recovery. If you have chronic pain and high dose opiates do not work – benzos will work if take with the opiates.

    I am ow stuck i the process of having come off benzos for four months I still cannot function without them. I a link to benzo.org.uk back to where I started in unliveable pain.

    Please do not start benzos. They control and destroy your life. They effect every nerve in your nervous system. The withdrawal is 1000 times worse than opiates. If you are on benzos please read link to benzo.org.uk
    I ever knew I was on a benzo. My life is destroyed. If you take them for more than a few weeks you will be addicted. If you have a accident you will not heal your nervous system if you stop the benzos during the recovery period. Please do not take these medications. They will completely destroy your life.

  • Brandon

    Xanax withdrawal is horrible but is the only thing that helps me I have severe panic disorder

  • Randal Snyder

    I have Major Depressive Disorder with Suicidal Features (love the way they use that word) and PTSD, which includes a very bad Anxiety and Stress disorder. This is mostly a medical condition, not strictly a psychological one. These problems require talk therapy (which I have been doing for 7 years) and medications, including benzodiazepines (for about 6 years). When I am not using my 30mgs of Diazipam per day I am stressed out all of the time, bite my wife’s head off for no real good reason, scream at the dogs or other drivers and drink in the evenings to relieve the stress. Obviously I can’t drink all day (though I am on disability) and the long term health risks from drinking are a LOT worse then 30mgs of Diazipam a day. Given the choice between living a happy life and knowing that the studies (at the very, very, very best) prove nothing about a link between benzodiazepines and dementia of any kind I know what I’ll choose.

    • daran ali

      Randal, benzos numb everything. You don’t feel emotions correctly. You don’t process information the same. Google “getting off klonopin after 15 years” Steve calls them wasted years. If you speak to him he will tell you, along with anxiety, you lose love, true joy and happiness. I have spoken to so many people that have confirmed this. Your brain can not heal and process information correctly until you are truly feeling things as they are meant to be felt. I.e you might think you are massively depressed when really you are furious. Understanding and processing trama or pain while numb(with chemicals)is very hard to do, no matter how intelligent you are. Once you face your fear, anger, pain with no chemicals you can begin to make progress and not just loop the same patterns. If not, they will be “wasted years”. Your brain needs to understand what has happened, what the correct feeling are and where to put them. Then begin building a life on that foundation, heal and retraining your brain how to think. It is certainly not a medical issue. There was some trama, some incodent, some hell you had to live. If you have been in therapy for 6 years you have the means to do the work. If you are collecting disability that means you have the time. Why not taper off and try therapy without it? Will it put your life in danger? Then check yourself into a rehab center and let them monitor you. Do not allow them to give you any drug(agree to this before you go in). After 45 days, begin therapy drug free and see if there is a difference. Tell your therapist you’d like to go back to the innocent child version of yourself, before the trama. its massive work and takes years, but it is possible. I’m sorry for whatever happened to you. Bad things happen to so many innocent people. I hope you find peace in whatever path you choose.

  • Beth Crandall

    While it is difficult to quit benzodiazapines, it is quite possible. I decided to come off of Xanax back in 2010 after taking it “as needed” daily for ten years. I knew I was addicted as I had taken it daily for years but never intentionally abused it. I had no choice but to quit cold turkey. It was the most excruciating hell I have ever been through, and it lasted for years.

    I absolutely recommend anybody interested in quitting to follow the taper protocol as directed in the Ashton Manual. If you conduct a slow taper withdrawal symptoms and subsequent post acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS) will not be very intense or long lasting. Take your time coming off – it isn’t a race. If you quit to quickly your body will suffer excitotoxicity which does widespread systemic neurological damage, which is why you hear the horror stories where recovery takes years to happen (myself included).

    If you decide to taper and eventually stop benzos expect increase anxiety, and keep in mind that the increase anxiety is not a permenant state. It will get better, do not give in and take more benzos to alleviate the symptoms. Benzodiazapines kindle, so the more you attempt to stop and then restart the worse each subsequent withdrawal will be. Alcohol also kindles with benzodiazapines, so if you are doing both I highly recommend quitting both together.

    Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), mindful meditation, breathing exercises, and Indural (propranolol) all help the anxiety. Eating clean, proper sleep hygiene, and exercise (doesn’t have to be strenuous) also go along way to help. I found long term use of benzos to actually worsen anxiety over time, so if you keep having to increase your benzo quantity for relief soberly consider more productive mechanisms to cope with stress and anxiety as there is a limit with which they will help, and once you achieve that limit you will most likely have to find alternatives, and it’s far easier to stop at a lower dose than a higher dose.

    I am now over six years free of benzos and am the happiest and least stressed/anxious I have ever been in my life. I have learned how to cope with life without substance, and I have experienced how truly horrible anxiety can get via benzo withdrawal and survived. If I can make it through that I can make it through anything. I wish all my fellow benzo users the best regardless of what you choose to do with the benzos – they do not make for an easy life and I commend your strength for continuing to move forward.

    • Jen

      I wish I had known abour the Ashton Manual before I went to detox. I called my detox facility and told them they should never treat a patient like me again who was only prescription drug dependent on the dose prescribed. I am suffering and feel that I will never get better. I am three months out from detox and 8 months since the ordeal began. God help me and others who are in my shoes.

    • daran ali

      Do you still take propranolol?

  • Jen

    I was prescribed a pill called Librax by my gastroenterologist in 2012 for treatment of irritable bowel syndrome. It is a two component drug. One component is the oldest benzodiaxepide Librium. I became dependent only taking a lower dose as prescribed by my doctor. I never abused it or took more than I should have. My Dad was dying at the time and my mother was already deceased. My doctor knew I had a fear of taking prescription drugs because I told him my mother took a lot her entire life and subsequently died from MDS which we believe was brought on by steroids she was taking for an autoimmune disorder. I also had a history of alcohol abuse and anxiety and depression in my family. All of which my doctor knew because I told him, but it didn’t stop him from prescribing the Librax for me. He never warned me it had a benzo in it or that I could become dependent on it. He told me I could eat or drink whatever I wanted. I stopped taking it cold turkey a year later and that’s when I had my first overwhelming anxiety and depression. My doctor convinced me to go back on it at the same dose. It took 5 months, lots of therapy, more benzos and two antidepressants, to recover. I finally got off everything again except the Librax. Then two years later I went into withdrawal while taking the Librax. My mind and body were craving more and my doctor’s answer was simply to up the dose, double it actually. I knew then this would be a bigger problem down the road when I reach the max amount I could take and still need more, so I decided to seek a second opinion and wean off slowly this time. There weeks after the wean, I was right back where I was two years earlier only worse. Anxiety filled and depressed I panicked and went back on the Librax only this time it didn’t work. This nightmare began in January 2016 for me and I’ve been living it ever since. I finally went to a detox facility which was a HUGE mistake and got off all benzos. I was on Librax and Ativan at the time. It was an abrupt withdrawal (I wish I had known better then) and it destroyed my central nervous system. My life has been a living hell ever since. I have three beautiful children and a husband and two dogs and I lay in bed wishing I were gone. Doctors need to be held accountable and stop prescribing addictive benzos, the quick fix, for their patients. I know they help short term with a lot of ailments, including seizures, which my youngest daughter suffers from, but long term is NO GOOD! My life as I once knew it is OVER!!! We need more awareness and support groups for benzo addiction and withdrawal. I need to add that I no longer see my original gastroenterologist who put me on the Librax and in the past when I tried to confront him about why he would put me on such a thing he said I was treating your gut – which was a lie since the Librium treats the mind – and he would get very nasty and short with me and tell me to seek psychiatric treatment. He also told me I would have to take the Librax the rest of my life, which wasn’t possible at the rate my body became dependent on it. My life is over.

  • Kay45

    benzobuddies dot ORG will tell you everything you should know.

  • White Kenye

    here is what i do to keep from becoming addicted or needing a dose increase. I use all of a total of 12 xanax and 12 ambien a month for sleep. I use a dosing regimen of three weeks on, one 1 week off. Every refill I start with a small dose and slowly increase to where the most is taken at mid 3 weeks, then I taper it down the same way i tapered it up and I’m out of the medication beginning week 4. Basically i get a good 3 weeks and have an annoying 5 or 7 days, but that way I don’t build up a tolerance. I give my body a break every month. I do the same with my blood pressure medication. Having taken the last week off means i effectively can start out each next month at the lower dosing. This keeps me from needing to have my medication increased, and increased, and increased.

    • James

      @ White Kenye, hate to break it to you but this needs to be said for everyone who may read your comment… Those 5-7 days that are annoying are withdrawal symptoms. Feeling “annoyed” is the best way I can describe my month-long Xanax withdrawal. The only way to avoid addiction long term is not take any at all. It’s a certainty if you take benzos.

  • sangel1215

    I just stumbled on this site I need to have back surgery to remove bone fragments from a herniated disc.I have been put on Valium for the back spasms til surgery,that’s what my initial search was about.I had panic attacks as early as I can remember.Back then neither of my parents noticed or cared I wasn’t a normal happy little girl,it would be easy to blame them but that’s not helpful to my own sanity.In my teenage years it progressed to panic disorder I saw my family doctor who basically said get happy and gave me at the time what was called Christmas trees to druggies I knew,all I knew was they did nothing to help me,I still have no idea what they were.I never took an illegal drug ever or drank,I made other poor choices,I dated a 38 year old when I was 18 I just wanted to feel love and safe,he beat and abused me.I had developed panic disorder and now depression so bad I never left the house,it didn’t matter because soon I was suffering panic attacks just taking a shower.I don’t know what a nervous breakdown is but I can say I think that’s what I had,my mind body and soul were done.At 19 I was ready to end my life with no fear about it at all I felt at peace.I was placed in a crisis center for about three weeks.They saved me I can never thank the people there enough.The Doctors,the therapists even the people who checked our stuff for anything that was dangerous.It wasn’t these are crazy people treat them with no respect.I had never had structure in my life I had to be up dressed small bed made room cleaned by 7 had group and was placed on his doses of klonopin.I couldn’t remember life without anxiety and panic I finally felt at peace,I controlled who visited me I allowed NO one.My so called love of my life dropped all my stuff off at my grandmothers house,he had no control over me I wasn’t fun.I left with nothing but when I walked outside I felt fresh air I felt sun I felt happy.I never received a bill I still don’t know who payed the bill I assume Medicaid.I started to see a therapist weekly,I moved to my grandmothers not ideal but didn’t have much choice.My greatest joys were average things for most,going to the mall,the grocery store etc.We adjusted my dose to twice a day three if needed.Its 20 years later and I’m still on two a day.I never felt a need to increase dosage.I married had a son I was terrified taking medication but the dose was lowered they were afraid if I stopped taking all together I would have seizures.My Son was born healthy but we decided to not have anymore children because of the fear of what could happen.Hes a college student and amazing.I went to college graduated and went to work in veterinary sciences.I have traveled to other countries,enjoyed a happy life and continue too.No matter what the risk I have Zero regrets,without medication I would be dead I had no desire to live like I was.We all take risks in life everyday,if you need something to help you live a life I don’t see what could happen should stop you from living.My Grandfather was a welder worked hard all his life never took a drug,drank lived a normal life,retired to Florida bought his dream home within four years developed dementia and suffered for three years before passing away this may.You never know what life is gonna throw at you.A proud man who I adored was reduced to a baby he didn’t know me,lost control of bodily functions we have no idea why that awful disease affected him.I see a therapist every few months she’s amazing,I work out,I enjoy time with friends and family,I no longer have contact with either of my parents my choice.Being a mom my sons happiness and well being were my greatest and always will be my greatest concern,if I thought for a minute he was suffering anything I would do all I could to get him whatever help he needed,they never noticed even when I said please help me that’s not parents.They have their own issues with gambling I’ve heard they lost their home and are about to lose another.I don’t wish anyone grief,they need to fix themselves.I hope my story can help someone see that Yes studies are scary but you only get one life live it,I’m living proof you don’t need to take tons of medicine to be ok but sometimes you need help and we all have different brain chemistry I think if someone can be happy without medicine that’s great,I unfortunately can’t have a normal life without panic I tried all the other options.I feel normal,happy and have no intention of not taking a small dose of a medication that truly saved me from having no life and trying to end what little I did..God Bless anyone with mental illness we are not always treated as great as someone with a broken leg,but make no mistake the pain is real and we are broken

    • Hope

      Wow, I just want to applaud you for being brave enough to not only share your story, but for everything you did in what it entails. I also came from a crazy background. By 19 years old, I ended up a severe heroin addict living in crack houses, what ever drug dealer that would supply me, abandoned buildings, etc. The moment that changed my life was when my veins were exhausted from the needle, and I shot up and missed the vein in my arm therefor an abscess came up. It grew to the size of a grape fruit. I went to the ER, and was rushed into immediate surgery. The surgeon gave the diagnosis that I was at the last stage of addiction before death, and should begin preparing for my funeral. I slowly began to wake up. During my time in the hospital I still had my 60 something year old “boyfriend”/sugar-daddy come to visit me, bringing me dope, and I would go into the bathroom, or sniff it right where I was. But then… I had a group of women from a church I had recently attended come visit me. (As a disclosure, church was the last place I would ever be. I thought all Christians were hypocrites, and that God had forsaken me and I was angry. I only went because my brother who was the white sheep in the family asked me, and I couldn’t let him down.) So back to the ladies from the church, they came in with a mission to pray for me and see me get saved from the pit of hell I was living in, & the hell that was so close to me as I played with death every single day. One thing about being in that hospital bed is that I desperately needed hope. The life I was living was completely hopeless, it was dark, and was always a this high you were chasing but you would never find again. The ladies were compassionate, but also bold. They asked if they could pray for me. I said yes, and as they prayed the main lady began to say things that only God and myself would know about. That was my breaking point. I began to weep, and forgive God for all that I had held against him for years, and I returned back to Him and as a 19 year old junkie, I said yes to Jesus. That was the very beginning of this wild ride that I would take to rid me of the drugs, and take me around the world to proclaim the love of Jesus, and that regardless of what you have been through or done, Jesus’s blood is powerful enough to wash away any sin, sickness, or torment that we carry. Through that I have witnessed more miracles than I can write on this page. It has been amazing!! You may wonder what in the world this has to do with benzo’s. Well, about 2 years ago I began to get so wound up, and intense in my work that one day I collapsed to the ground, with the sound of my chest popping, and feeling the physical pain. The demands of my job were so intense that my doctor prescribed me Clonopin to take when I found myself in those situations. I must say it has been a great blessing to me, and not something that I have ever tried to take beyond what I was prescribed. Long story short, thank you for sharing your story, and if you would like to connect further, please let me know and I will give you my contact info,

    • Erika Melanie Fagundo

      Thank you for sharing. My daughter was sexually assaulted by her own father and grandfather. She was taking into foster care because I said I felt like killing myself for not knowing 2 people I trusted went behind my back and did the unthinkable. I was just venting with a social worker but I would never kill myself and leave my daughter. They thought I was seriously suicidal and they took her into foster care for 2 years. I did everything the court said get a job, maintain it, take parenting classes, rented a more expensive apartment as well so she would have no bad memories. I am finally reunited with my daughter and still taking my medication and attending therapy. Still taking 50 mg of zoloft daily and 1mg of klonopin in the morning and 1 mg of klonopin in the evening. I survived hell and still keep my treatment to live and provide for my daughter.

      • daran ali

        Erika, your daughter will understand the sacrifice and love you forever. She is blessed to have you as a foundation. Please keep up the fight. Your daughter will go on to do great things and help many people with you by her side.

  • Marc

    Harder to quit that Heroin? Not my experience. I was takin xanax for 5 years straight, started at 1mg and ended taking 6mg per day. I needee medical help to quit. They just gave me valium as needed for 1st 2 days, then 5mg Valium for another 2 days, then 5mg every 4 hours for 5th day. Then they gave me an antidepressant for insomnia and told me to go home. I felt like crap for 2 months, but if I can do it, then it isnt that hard. CompRed to what ive seem with Heroin..

  • Anon A. Moose

    What if Klonopin is the only thing that works for an individual, like myself? I take it for Essential Tremor daily. It’s the only drug for tremors that works for me and doesn’t have any noticeable side effects. I don’t have any other choice…

    • Kathy Lewis

      Have you tried cannabis?

  • HilarityBribo .

    Benzos are addicting. (especially for those of us with OCD, anxiety) That being said I’ve always tried my best to only take them in panic settings or high anxiety that’s keeping me from sleeping for days. I know once you start taking em constantly you’re hooked.

  • catherine birch

    i was on various benzodiazapines for most of the 80`s for panic disorder. In 1990 I signed up with a new gp who helped me to taper off the drugs. I don`t notice any shortcomings in my cognitive functions as a result of being hooked on the drugs, but all this talk of alzheimers has me terrified that Iv`e set myself up for the disease in the future simply because I trusted all the hype about these drugs being safe.

  • Kathy Lewis

    I am 65. I was put on these pills when I was 13. I was sent away from home to a boarding school and was desperately homesick. It was simple. I cried a lot. I was then sent to a psychiatrist who prescribed Valium to me. These drugs stole my career, my marriage, my life as the mother of an adopted son, and, ultimately, my body and soul. I am totally disabled now with intractable foot pain, caused by years of benzos. My body and mind have been stolen from me and all they left me with is pain.

  • Diarrhea Roaster Str8 Up

    It is hard to see any Person or Website speaking ill of Valium without a reasonable motive behind it. It’s either a rogue rehab wanting patient or bookseller promising to have content on alternative, or it may simply be some bunch of alternative online herbal medicine promoters.
    I was prescribed valium because of severe painful muscle spasm which actually caused anxiety and mild depression in me. Before Valium, no amount of pain med was helpful . I had sleepless night and constant paranoia.
    I’d been on valium for almost 7yrs now and never abused it. I was able to sleep fine and brighten up. I only had to take 5mg morning and another 5mg before bed, I noticed i was being a little sleepy after a long period of usage and later started taking 10mg before bedtime, since then I have been ok. I’ve never had any bad side nor did have I turned to Zombie.

  • Margaret Chevalier

    My dad a physician used Xanax on and off for anxiety. He lived to be 97 and very sharp still.alcohol is much worse.

    • Claire

      Key word on n off

  • Jeri Lynn

    I’ve been on Xanax for 35 years. Nothing else has helped me. I have severe anxiety. PTSD from the loss of my daughter. I’ve tried EVERYTHING else. Only Xanax helps me.

  • https://abuse-drug.com/ Abuse-drug.com

    I have been on XANAX for years now. The fear of living my life with panic attacks and extreme anxiety is lot worse than me being on benzos. I am content on my meds and my life as it is now.

  • LolaK

    In the long term, benzos actually (worsen) anxiety-along with depression (quite a paradox) And to me, worrying every month that I make it to the pharmacy or, if I move, the first thing being I get to a pscyh right away because I’m physically dependent means I’m a slave to these drugs. I’m findind a treatment center and going off asap (ten years of being on drugs is NOT a good for me -no matter what I have to go through) And yes, seizures are extremely dangerous and if I miss ONE day (on 2mgs of Clonazepam-was on 4mgs of Lorazepam) I feel like hell and the panic attacks start coming from withdrawal-horrible experience- all I can think about is getting to the pharmacy-everything else is surreal, like I’m in a different universe, knowing that most people around me aren’t even worried about that sort of thing. Then, once I take the pill, I feel ‘normal’ again.Something’s wrong here. There are other, much healthier ways to cope with life and making better decisions/CHOICES (whether it’s your health; physical, emotional, spiritual) is a good way to start.

  • eyeswideopen

    It’s good to see the inclusion of long term risks of benzodiazepine use. The comment about being more difficult than heroin to get off. Never been through a heroin situation, but have become dependent on pain medication after use for chronic pain from trauma. The pain medication withdrawal was practically a tea party compared to withdrawal from Benzo’s. There are terrifying and debilitating symptoms when hitting a dose tolerance, then discontinued the use can cause a protracted withdrawal which is the most horrific battle I’ve ever endured in my life, nor could have imagined. They’re wonderful until they’re not! I discontinued use of Xanax a year ago and am still extremely ill. I truly believe there should be warnings as to what this class of drugs can do to your brain. They also should not put any new patients on these drugs in the future. They’re meant for short term use. I never knew this, nor was I given any warnings verbally or written from doctor or pharmacy. What I’ve been through withdrawing from this class of medication has been nothing short of torture. I do feel like a warrior after making it through the last year. I’m still battling.

    One important reminder is that it is never advisable to stop this class of medication abruptly. Serious side effects can occur that can be a risk to your health.

    If I can help one person not start with these meds, I will feel I’ve helped pass on the knowledge. I do understand that there are some that have such a rough time stopping it’s use, as it’s incredibly rough, or need them for other health reasons. At this time I don’t think there is anything out there that works as well as this class for acute panic or anxiety attacks, but anybody using them, especially long term, may be setting themselves up for very rough times, or possibly a nightmare. This is on top of the risk of Alzheimer’s. This stuff is dangerous.

    My heart goes out to all of you that have discontinued use and found yourself in a nightmare. Hang in there!