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On this page, w-bad.org invites you to submit your story in text form. Submissions can be from anyone—victims, friends, family, in memoriam, the general public taking concerns with benzodiazepines, medical providers, etc.
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Anecdotal accounts (especially when they are many) of iatrogenic benzodiazepine dependence, withdrawal, and injury play a powerful part in exposing this epidemic, educating the public, and garnering validation as to the legitimacy and severity of the problem. Thank you for doing your part to contribute to the collective voice.
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Unless you actually suffer from a substance abuse disorder, refrain from using the following terms:
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EXPERIENCES IN BENZODIAZEPINE WITHDRAWAL SYNDROME
I was prescribed both Ativan and Xanax concurrently in 2006 for about 10 months due to anxiety and stress, along with antidepressants. I had adverse reactions to these drugs right away, however I hung in there as I was led to believe they would work from a psychiatrist. I was told they were not addictive! Long story short I rapidly took myself off because I was feeling worse and worse due to reactions, tolerance, interdose withdrawal. Then all hell broke loose; suffered extreme symptoms. I finally found out what was wrong from the internet/Ashton manual; I reinstated and was able to taper off with valium in 2008, but the damage has already been done. It took 4 years to feel recovered from this; then felt close to normal for about 3 years. I then went through a lot of stress, consumed alcohol, was run down, took cold and allergy meds. It all came back, felt just like acute withdrawal. Just as bad as the beginning.
So I'm still dealing with this, although better than when it first came back. Good days and bad days. It's been absolutely horrible, but I still hope to recovery from this one day.
I am from Holland . I had a sonuc attack 5 weeks ago couldnt sleep had anxiety and also did not breathe well so my doctor prescribed me oxazepam (serax) 10mg a day
I used it for like 20 days but it made me more sick but the doctor said no that is not the oxazepam that is supposed to make you better
I said i want to stop she said you can coldturkey cause your dose is low and you did not use it long
I said i read that is not a good idea coldturkey i want to taper, no there is no tapering schedule for that dose
So i tapered it myself off , i tapered for 6 days broke the pill in half so i had 5 Mg for 6 days after 20 days on 10mg and since 7 days i quit totally. And i have real serious withdrawall symptoms like : dizziness nausea muscle pain stomach aid , but the worst is dizziness that doesnt go away
Can someone please tell mee when the withdrawall symptoms will go away perhaps someone who also used a low dosage and for short time ?
Thank you very much
Love from Holland
5 months after I cold turkeyed off, the benzos, that itch at the back of my head spread out into a crack. I started experience stabbing neuropathic pain in my chest and severe insomnia. The incredible pain wouldn’t go away and death seemed like the only way to end the torment. That was when I knew I needed to get back into the psychiatric ward to fix this. The first hospital I went to was awful, and left me unable to fall asleep for a further 3 days. I sustain a seizure and my face when numb together with my groin that also left me with frightening air hunger and difficulty peeing. When I got out, things became even more bizarre. I alternated between several states - one of depression, one of anxiety with stabbing pains and one of derealisation/depersonalisation. I was then struck with an episode of confusion where my thoughts spiralled non-stop. Thoughts of suicide completely overwhelmed me.
Finally, I went to the hospital again in what was another round of hell. Dosed with anti-depressants and anti-psychotics, I suffered horrific torture in the form of akathisia and Parkinsonism. I though I would be in that state forever, unable to stay still and unable to move my hands. Fortunately, those effects were reversible. Somehow or another, whether due to the treatment of in spite of the treatment, the mental conditions cleared up. The stabbing pain and numbness in the groin gradually diminished even after I had been discharged.
It’s been two months since being discharged, things are much better. I don’t feel anymore pain. I’m left with occasional cortisol surges, blaring tinnitus, sound sensitivity, PSSD-like symptoms and an elevated stress response, but more or less still functional.
It was just two weeks of benzo, and I suffered 6 months of hell. I learnt the hard way the kind of damage that benzodiazepine can wrought on the nervous system.
I can relate to all of the stories so horrifique. I was on clonazepam for almost 20 years 1.5 mg when I was cut off cold Turkey for almost 2 weeks. During that time I couldn't even stand up. So the doctor switched me over to value MSA substitute and a slow taper. However the taper is not going very well I am currently down to 3.5 mg in the morning and 10 mg at night per the Ashton manual.
I am not following the taper exactly as in her plan and only tapering by a have of a milligram every week because the side effects are so terrible. On top of that my body is not adjusting well to volume at all I am constant diarrhea all day long and there is no other then so they can switch me to that will work. They tried putting me back on the clonazepam and I had such a terrible reaction they had to take me off of it. I feel my life is over and at this point every day I just lay on the floor I have lost everything in my life my job and was a my home my family I don't feel I can go I'll anymore.
Engine reading it says that the taper only gets harder as the dose goes down I live alone and don't have much family and I'm very scared most of the time and just lay here and shake any advice please help me
WE MUST DEMAND INFORMED WRITTEN CONSENT FOR ALL RX MEDICATIONS NOW!
A two week withdraw from Effexor in 2004 turned the decline from simply taking this drug long term, into a full blown crisis cited as "worsening illness relapse from being unmedicated" from which I have had 15 years where I look back now as best I can, and now believe I never fully recovered from the shock to my brain and nervous system. By the time I really started to wonder if taking Effexor was a rrot cause of my worsening mental and physical health it was Dec 2015 - I finally concluded Effexor had long been a problem and took three months to go off of - it didn't matter, I wouldn't have mattered had I taken twelve months to taper - my system had already been shocked going of on these type of drugs multiple times much severe damage had already occurred but even then, I filed to realize my continually use of Ativan in small doses of .5 to one milligram 1-3 times a day to cope with the increasing adverse effect of Effexor the Ativan itself was also destroying my health, and stopping it has made agony a full blown torture.
ONE OF THESE DRUGS ATHE LOWEST DOSE FOR THE SHORTEST PERIOD IS DANGEROUS ENOUGH - BUT POLICY PHARMACY OF ANY DRUG AT ANY AGE SHOULD BE AVOIDED - THE OLDER YOU ARE THE MORE THIS IS THE NORM AND THE MORE DANGEROUS IT IS
Doctors/phychs/counselors - the majority know little about these drugs - because they don't want to know! more often than not I believe they eventually lead to significant worsening of the orginal condition(s) and the creation of more severe conditions the person never had. In my case I have been suffering horrific akathisia that I have been aware of for two years and I believe to some degree for a lot longer than that. INTERNAL AKATHISEA is absolute HORROR and many have it and mistake it for severe ongoing anxiety or "anxiety syndrome" or diagnosis of the day - it is usually misdiagnosed and made worse by "professionals" citing worsening condition - and need for more meds - which is thee worst thing - they can worsen this and or kill you very easily.
Count yourself lucky if you heal from AKATHISIEA upon cessation of the offending drug(s) as safely/slowly as needed or if suffering an acute onset from a new drug which they at least sometimes recognize, but dose adjustment or withdrawal AKATHISIA is in my view deliberately not recognized and or misdiagnosed far more than acute onset at the start of a new drug, GOD HAVE MERCY ON THOSE SUFFERING UPON RECOGNIZING WHAT LIES AND POISONING WE HAVE BEEN SUBJECTED TO ONLY TO FACE THE HORRORS AND DENIALS OF PROTRACTED AND OR CHRONIC EFFECTS OF THESE DRUGS, WHICH HAVE AND CONTINUE TO DESTROY SO MANY LIVES AND FAMILIES!
DONT BE SILENT - TELL EVERYONE - YES I KNOW HOW FEW BELIVE YOU, BUT WE MUST TELL THESE TRUTHS TO PREVENT MORE VICTIMS AND TO HAVE JUSTICE FOR THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN HARMED!
Three failed tapers, kindled third taper after up dosing because I had up dosed many times. Final taper. Crossed to Valium 5mg 2 1/2 months ago. Now micro tapering just under 2mg.
I have been as positive as I know how to be. I think that I have come along way considering what I have endured. I have suffered delusion, psychosis, terror, irrational fear, fear that I am going insane, the feeling like I'm being burned alive from the inside out hugging myself in agony, crying out loud help me in the middle of the night, unable to speak because of the pain, unable to form sentences, fear of being committed, agoraphobia, feeling as though I am being eaten alive by fire ants stinging me in my mouth, nose, ear canal, tounge, teeth, esophagus, lungs, eyes, my feet like being boiled in a pan of water, my skin on my whole body feeling like there're bugs and worms crawling on top of and underneith it, six days without sleep, severe lack of sleep, akathesia where it was impossible to sit or lay down for more than minute for five months, tenitis that sounds like a jet air plane so defening you can't think, finger and toe nails burning, my teeth and gums burning, extreme anxiety, laying on the floor for 6 months because it's less painful, afraid to go to bed because I knew that I would wake up feeling like I'm being burned alive, horrible nightmares, afraid to eat food, afraid to take meds, afraid of my wife, forgetting who I am , thinking that I was being held hostage, writhing in pain on the floor unable to speak as the family watched and could do nothing, afraid of TV, afraid of the computer, afraid to drive, afraid to be seen, crapping on myself, feeling like a hot iron was shoved up my butt, losing my income, not knowing if I would ever be normal again, prayed to die, question my salvation and God's love, all day and night 24/7 for almost seven months. The list goes on...
I am doing much better now, still a little nerve pain, tenitis. I am under 2mg Valium, I will soon be off forever.
I'm about 90% healed now.
I thought that I was never going to be well again! I was wrong, you will get better!
Praise God for helping me cope with and heal from this horror story!
It seemed like a good experience, so when i had another experience of extreme anxiety around 9 months later, I went to another doctor, who prescribed me Librium (related, not available now), on which I was hooked, off and on, for nearly 4 years, until I went off it on my own willpower, knowing nothing about its dangerous side effects (no, not even at 26 1/2, 4 years from my first Benzo), except that the withdrawals were terrible and frightened me; and in the U.S., you needed to pay big money (for a student, which I was) to see a psychiatrist and get a prescription.
Since then, I've had medication-free periods when I was most creative (I published a novel that was extremely well received), but the last chemical-free episode ended as my marriage was drawing to its end, I couldn't sleep, and my doctor-wife suggested many of her patients were managing quite fine on Valium, that I should just resume my nightly dose. From then on, for 17 years, I have not been able to get off of it, but I have written a book titled "Benzo Land: How Doctors and Drug Companies Enslave Us" (at Amazon, Google Play, and Smashwords), which shares my story and my passion to be chemical-free.