Here We Go Again (Trigger Warning)

Posted on 29th September 2020

I’m going to say it as it is at present for me with no sugar coating. Please don’t read this if you are sensitive or in early withdrawal. 

In November it will be eight years since I stopped the benzo I was prescribed for sleep for forty years. Over some time now things have deteriorated. From feeling fully well and recovered, except for periods when a wave would briefly appear, I am now in a continuous and relentless downturn. All symptoms previously experienced have ramped up plus a few new ones. I have no idea why at this particular time as my life stresses remain the same as they’ve always been. I am mostly bedridden as dizziness, headaches and nausea are the new symptoms to appear.

My nights are one long relentless series of nightmares, sweats and tachycardia. I am seriously sleep deprived and very, very tired. I ask myself if this is some sort of ptsd but there’s no way to tell. Seeking medical advice would only lead to further trauma with the lack of knowledge about Benzos and the withdrawal syndrome. The sad fact is that this refusal to believe what is happening by hoodwinked doctors compiles the suffering. ‘Thou shalt do no harm’, huh!! I say hoodwinked because they have been coerced by the big profit making pharmaceutical companies to prescribe these drugs without giving full advice as to their possible dangers to the patient. They then precede to do this with no observation of their own Guidelines in the form of NICE (The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence provides national guidance and advice to improve health and social care in the UK). So misprescribing goes on here in the UK and all over the world as many continue to fall victim of their previously trusted doctors. The medical profession can do marvellous things but it also holds the power to seriously damage patients. 

The benzo count worldwide falls into millions and is impossible to track. Facebook alone has nearly 100 groups put up for Benzo Support. My own group has 6,000 members now. Multiply that a few times and the numbers become horrendous and that’s without those who have no access to Facebook or any knowledge about benzodiazepine drugs and the suffering that they can cause. It is beyond belief that this continues to happen sixty years after the first drugs were issued. Throughout that time attempts have been made by sufferers to get the life altering effects of these prescribed drugs acknowledged. We owe a huge dept to Professor Heather Ashton for doing the only benzo research in the eighties and nineties that gave rise to the creation of the Ashton Manual listing their dangers and giving support to the numerous victims. Sadly there still exist doctors who have no knowledge of any of this and so compound the suffering year after year. 

I was prescribed them for 40 years for sleep! No wonder I continue to suffer years later.

I’m having a rant because I feel so ill now and exhausted. Don’t worry, I will never give up but just surviving and letting out some of the trauma and horror over what I have learnt through my years of suffering and many bedridden days. Please don’t let this worry you because, from what I have seen over these years through my support of others and through talking to the benzo wise volunteers in the UK, people can gradually get better as the brain readjusts. I’m just taking longer than most. I will survive.

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