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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

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21 entries.
Peter Peter from British Columbia wrote on September 10, 2018 at 12:33 am:
I've been off benzodiazepines for 10 years and still have symptoms. I felt recovered for about 3 years, and then got hit again at 7.5 years off.
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.
Hypertjeee Hypertjeee from Amsterdam wrote on August 18, 2018 at 1:29 pm:
Hello dear people,
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
Samuel Samuel from Singapore wrote on July 12, 2018 at 4:16 pm:
“Go to the school clinic, he has something for you,” said my school counsellor. I had approached him for his services as well really stressed out by exam. Somehow or another, he had gotten the doctor to prescribe me Lexotan. I took it for 2 weeks, oblivious that it was a benzodiazepine. I convulsed at every worry about exams and laid sleepless in bed for 5 days in what I can only call pure terror and adrenaline. An emergency trip to a private practice psychiatrist labeled me GAD and depressed, and dosed with anti-depressant and anti-psychotics. It mad things worse and I felt pure rage one day and started smashing furniture as my head pulsated. My parents, alarmed by my behaviour, brought me to the hospital where I was shaking uncontrollably and was sedated. Next thing I knew, I woke up in the psychiatric facility and dosed with yet more benzos. And indeed, I was able to stay calm because of the benzos. Once out, I laid in bed, my legs spasming uncontrollably, my heart palpitating non-stop and strange hypnic jerks that would terrorize me before falling asleep. It last for a month, and I thought everything was over. But there was always this itch at the back of my brain that would flare up whenever I was stressed.

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.
Dorothy Dorothy from Fond du Lac wrote on July 3, 2018 at 2:35 am:
So glad I found this site. I feel hopeless, dead inside.
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
john w. cosgrave john w. cosgrave from portland, oregon wrote on June 19, 2018 at 5:26 am:
I posted my cotact pdx819-4772, because the "secrecy" surrounding the holocaust of phychiatric drugs is criminal and has been ongoing for many decades I too have been victimized as I believe millions others have, in my case an Ativan and desipramine "cocktail" started in '93 then switched to Effexor Ativan '99 when Desipramine "pooped out" has destroyed a life that 15 years ago was still promising after a decade of harm already inflicted by anti depressants and benzos . The fact that I was given these drugs with no guidance and no warnings and under a false pretense of a chemical imbalance is beyond negligent and this goes on across the globe 100,000 times a day new victims are created every day - this is no different than the holocaust when many who knew remained silent and cost the suffering and murder of many which could have been prevented.

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!
SCOTT SCOTT wrote on June 12, 2018 at 6:59 am:
After 13 years of benzodiazepines 6 months Xanax .5mg X2 daily, 12 years Clonazepam from 3mg to 1.5mg daily, 9 years Zolpedem 10mg daily.

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!
Jason Jason from Waldorf wrote on June 12, 2018 at 6:58 am:
My journey started in 1999 when I started having vertigo and anxiety attacks after a brutal divorce, I was looking to try to see what was causing the vertigo and ended up seeing a neurologist that eventually put me on a cocktail of medications for a “minor seizure disorder”. One of the medications was Klonopin. Another doctor diagnosed me with Ménière’s disease which I had surgery for. So once I did that I tried to get off of the Klonopin and I just couldn’t seem to get off it so I went to psychiatrists over the years thinking it would help, which it seemed to do. But I noticed every psychiatrist I went to at some point tried to get me off of the Klonopin always too quick with bad results. Fast forward to this past October 2017 when my job required me to get a DOT card, the doctor that saw me said “I can’t pass you on the benzos”. I was like what is that? So I went to my psychiatrist and she started a taper plan which was cut off half each week. So I started that taper not knowing the consequences, eventually about a week or two I started feeling horrible, having tremors, hallucinations, and hearing things. I tried to commit suicide so the police had to strap me down to get me out of the house, so I ended up in the behavioral health unit and was given antipsychotics. After a week of that I was sent home and my muscles started tightening and I was sweating really bad so I ended up back in the hospital where they found out I had rhabdomyolysis, so they put me on an IV for a week, eventually I reinstated on the Klonopin when I was in the hospital. So I started feeling better so they sent me home and eventually I went back to work. A few weeks later I started feeling bad again so I started researching what could be wrong and if there were any rehabs for benzos. So in my search I found a friend that was knowledgeable about benzos and directed me to the group, and I learned about the Ashton Manual and that I am having tolerance withdrawals. I am currently in a slow taper which seems to be working out. I wish all doctors were required to follow the Ashton Manual for tapering off of Antidepressants it could save lives and is the most humane way to do this.
Rosemary Rosemary from Uk wrote on June 12, 2018 at 6:28 am:
Hi..today is June 11th 2018..my life in hell started in Dec 05 with really bad anxiety threw personal reasons..heart palatations etc etc . my doctor gave me effoxer which after a few weeks I begged for hospital..he said no I was ok ...begged n begged n told them I wanted to go in for peace and to be doped to sleep. My head needed a break from my thoughts. Suicidal 😥 id 2 young kids then..kept me for 3 nights and told me to go home and sort out my marriage ( I had SITUATIONAL depression ! It was the drugs ! That made / gave me these thoughts .so then i hit the bed for months with Prozac 40 / 60 mg .I can't remember what dose I had to go off work / cant wash / dress / go out of the house / play with my kids .they lay in bed with me one Christmas as I physically could not get out of the bed 😥 i begged / googled /researched / / hours for help ..I guess then the dose clicked in after months and months in living in what i can only see as pure hell! As the yesrs passed I had to take my self off propanol 80mg to 40mg ..Then Sep 17 I stopped..my bp was 85/55..I went to docs on a number of times and only I done my own resesrch or I'd still be on them or the floor cause them.have no clue !! I am.like someone with early unset dementia at the minute who is desperately struggling to come off them by tapering so slow with a private support grouo ( prozac should be illegal and they are fantastic support ) I've also went private to a doc in another country via face time..I'm sitting at 26mg .off propanolol and to finish off I've now started at the age of 46 to have a condition called pmdd which really is pms multiply the feelings by 100...for about 10 days i feel so depressed / awful thoughts that scare me so much.my body is riddled with anxiety and I can't do anything.. when there drugs have certainly not helped and I refuse to go up a dose as theyve asked. I am not mad. I am the most happy caring loving bubbly person you'll meet like msny others and I feel so so so angry thst so called trained doctors gps are taking 5 mins to write a script instead of listening to the patient and working through the root cause of the problem. I'm disguised/ angry / depressed that then thought of a health professional destroyed my life .I want it back and it ain't happening. My head is in fast forward all day ..I've had to give up my job and am in a position to work when I want and am guy to work.its crap it's hell it's not normal for me to be like this but this is not me !
Richard Crasta Richard Crasta from New York/Phnom Penh wrote on July 11, 2017 at 12:54 pm:
My Benzodiazepine dependence began in India, when I was preparing for an examination that could change my life. I thought I felt a few missing heartbeats. I was 22 1/2 and went to local doctor, who prescribed me ten tablets of Valium (Diazepam) 10 mg , for ten nights, and I slept well.

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.
Coby Coby from The Gap wrote on July 9, 2017 at 6:24 am:
My name is Coby and I was on one form of benzodiazepine or another for over 35 years. I'm a teacher.

My problems with benzodiazepines began when I traveled through Asia in the 70's. I couldn't sleep. I went to see a doctor in Bali and he told me to go to what seemed like a bulk drug pharmacy where I could buy as many Mogadons as I wanted, without prescription. I was told that they were harmless. This was the beginning of a long dependency on these drugs because tragically they were not nearly as easy to get off!

I began to experience rebound insomnia but when I tried to stop taking the pills the symptoms got worse.

Over the years I went to see many different doctors to get help and advice. The advice on how to stop taking them was at best incorrect but often dangerous. Twice, when I fell pregnant I was advised to stop taking the them (cold-turkey) and this can cause seizures. Other times I was told to break the tablets in half and reduce by a quarter every few days. Benzodiazepines need to be tapered slowly for safe tapering. I was also offered a variety of benzodiazepines some of which I tried - the most dangerous one being Halcion which has a half life of somewhere between 2 and 5.5 hours which means the drug leaves the blood stream very quickly. I soon went into tolerance withdrawal and the only way that I can describe it was hell on earth. The only way that I survived was by focusing on my breathing - that was all that I could do. I went from doctor to doctor for help but the advice I got was always completely inappropriate - learn to relax, go to yoga classes or I was offered another drug.

One day I Googled the word Halcion and found that it was banned in several countries but not Australia where I live. I also found a forum called TRAP and they guided me to cross over to Valium and taper off the drug slowly once I stabilized.

I am now 6 years benzo free and I still suffer the effects of these drugs. I had problems with adrenaline throughout my taper and ended up with Adrenal Fatigue soon after I finished. My central nervous system is very weak as is my immune system. It has cost me many thousands of dollars to get myself well enough to get back into the workforce.
I periodically feel very angry with the doctors who prescribed these drugs to me without a word of warning about them and those who have given me so much incorrect advice on how to taper or survive the withdrawal process. This led me to write my own book and advise others to free them selves from the tyranny of these medications.