Many questions come up again and again in benzo Withdrawal and I thought it’s maybe a good idea to write a brief summary of what I have learnt over the several years of my own recovery to help towards healing from these drugs.
Symptoms are numerous and constantly changing but they indicate healing.
Withdrawal can be made more difficult by the addition of more drugs especially psychoactive drugs. Drugs may be necessary for other illnesses though.
have the power to cause setbacks for some people and may also unbalance the system further. Always be tested for deficiencies before adding anything.
Food sensitivities are common but diet should be kept healthy and free of sugar, caffeine, alcohol
and processed foods.
Insomnia is common but better pushed through so the brain can ‘relearn’ how to sleep again naturally.
Avoid stress as far as you can as this may increase symptoms temporarily.
Doctors rarely have the knowledge
of how to correctly taper Benzos.
Detox Centres can whip patients off very fast and cause a longer recovery.
A slow, even taper over a period of time suitable to the patient is the way to remove the drug successfully.
Never cold turkey
off the drugs as withdrawal symptoms could be prolonged.
Simple exercise without too much stress e.g. walking in nature helps lower cortisol. Over exercising will increase cortisol.
If in pain don’t be scared to try a low dose of a pain
medication to help you. However, this may not be a lot of help for withdrawal pain.
Learning coping skills for the bad days e.g. mindfulness meditation will help calm the system.
Find your best way to distract from symptoms on the bad days e.g.
music, funny tv progs, enjoying your pet...
Set yourself simple goals that you can achieve every day. It doesn’t matter how small these are but they will enable you to celebrate some success.
Try not to dwell on all negative ‘What
ifs’ as they can only add stress.
Morning adrenaline rushes are common as cortisol increases from 3 am to wake us up. Just let these wash over you and try not react to them.
Don’t spend too much time on the internet and in the benzo
groups absorbing negative information which will scare you and add stress.
Always remember what works for another person could harm you so never follow prescriptive advice.
The updated Ashton Manual is the best source of researched information
to show your doctor.
Stay clear of people who fail to recognise benzo withdrawal or who try to create drama in your life.
Age and length of time on the drugs makes no difference to the speed of recovery.
Always get worrying symptoms checked
by a doctor even if you think they are due to withdrawal. Reassurance that it’s nothing else helps.
Reinstating doesn’t always work after being off Benzos for over one month. The body and brain may not stabilise.
Updosing is not always
effective as tolerance to the drug can be reached sooner.
Recovery for each person is entirely individual and can’t be compared to another.
Recovery takes as long as it takes but only a few enter a protracted withdrawal. Most recover within
the first 18 months off.
Try and accept all the weird symptoms that can crop up and don’t fight them. Better to go along with them, surrender to them and accept best you can. Warrior means fighting, you are not fighting this but allowing the symptoms
to happen to bring you to healing. Be a pacifist!
Once recovered from withdrawal and leading a normal life benzos should never be taken again as you may be more sensitive to their effects.
Remember once recovered the world becomes a brighter,
happier place and you feel much stronger and more aware of yourself and the needs of others.