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please help me with my tranquilizer withdrawal......

(19 Posts)
needtogetoffthem Fri 08-Jul-05 19:39:09

im struggling to cope with dreadful symptoms from coming of tranqs, i have been on diazepam on and of since last october, but permantley on 2mg 3 times a day since march. i was put on it for severe panic wich was causing me to have feelings of unreality, panic attacks etc.i thought i was going mad and the gp's answer was tranqs, of course they helped at first but 4 weeksago i visited my gp and asked to withdraw, by this time i was down to 2mg twice a day, im now down to 3/4 of a 2mg tablet a day and am suffering really bad withdrawal effects, the last 2 days, the panic that i havent experienced for 6 months or more is back, i feel like i have my head in a box, my vision feels wierd and out of focus, i dont feel quite here IYSWIM and because it feels horrible, im panicking more and now im not sleeping, can anyone advise, ive been cutting down by half a tab to one tablet aday, then the gp recommended a drop of a quarter of a tab, but since the latest drop, i feel dreadful, nauseaus, dizzy, unreal etc, im scared, is this normal???? will it get better???

beansprout Fri 08-Jul-05 19:44:58

These are really difficult drugs to come off. I know people who have come off heroin who have said it was easier than tranqs. So, given that, you are doing really, really well. There is bound to be some effect. If you can get through it, you will come out of the other side. Can you get any support while this is happening? Be brave, it will be worth it, and best of luck to you. xx

needtogetoffthem Fri 08-Jul-05 19:51:01

the only support i have is from dh, gp has not been sympathetic, in fact they are almost treating me like a pathetic druggie, yet its they who put me on the damned things

morningpaper Fri 08-Jul-05 19:55:50

So sorry to hear NTGOT. I was on valium for a year and I have a lovely big red sticker on my doctor's note which reads "TRANQUILISER DEPENDENCY" under the one which says "ALLERGIC TO PENICILLIN" - thanks very much!!

IT CAN BE DONE but it is really shit. Valium is a wonderful drug and makes everything cope-able. You really have to WANT to get off these drugs. Reducing your dose as you are doing is the best way to get off but you also need to be strong and find other ways of coping with the symptoms.

Can you afford any sorts of complementary therapy, such as massage or homeopathy? Buy some Rescue Remedy as a starting point. I found that aromatherapy massage was incredibly helpful but also incredibly expensive. I also found that meditation/prayer was very helpful - repetitive chanting etc. helped me to calm down when I needed to.

Some local branches of MIND the mental health charity offer complementary therapies for free or greatly reduced cost, as do some helth authorities in London. Ask your GP about this and contact your local Mind for advice.

Good luck. xx

jangly Fri 08-Jul-05 20:02:29

Have you been offered anything in their place as you could still be suffering from an anxiety disorder. Fluoxetine is calming and is non addictive.

needtogetoffthem Fri 08-Jul-05 20:11:05

thanks morning paper-i guess you are now off them obviously???
jangly-i had a massive allergic reaction to cipralex last november so cant take ssri's.
no i havent been offered anything else, i havent been depressed.

morningpaper Fri 08-Jul-05 20:16:06

NTGOT yes it was about 10 years ago now. I was VERY DETERMINED to do without the tranqs and the other a/ds and a/psychotics I was on. I made the decision to take control and stop taking them. I took it a day at a time. I was self-harming too and again, it was very much a matter of taking things slowly and trying to make rational and sensible decisions at each 'crisis' point as they arose. It was very hard and I remember falling to the floor several times (in public!) because the terror and panic was so overwhelming. You need to take things easy and if necessary don't go 'cold turkey' - if you are having a terrible time then take half a tablet so that you can sort yourself out. Having beaten it is a great feeling - like running a marathon.

(I've definitely never run a marathon though so I can't be CERTAIN of that... ;))

morningpaper Fri 08-Jul-05 20:17:24

I had a really great counsellor too who I sought out after I was off all the medications - I saw her for a couple of years and she really helped me to put in place structures (in my head and in my life) for dealing with crisis/panic as and when it happened.

needtogetoffthem Fri 08-Jul-05 20:21:45

morning paper-i am having cbt therapy too, which does help, i wasnt prepared for just how horrendous the symptoms would be, i feel like i have my head in a box and my vision is blurry,does this sound familiar??, theres no way i will beable to make another drop feeling like this.

morningpaper Fri 08-Jul-05 20:27:53

I seem to just remember screaming panic, I'm not sure what else I felt. But yes it is all normal. It's horrible horrible.

Don't worry too much about the next drop. Slowly slowly. Take it easy on yourself. Try to space out the gap between doses if possible. Do you take anything else? Try to think of plans to do other things instead of taking your last valium of the day, for example, like a hot bath and an early night. Will your DH massage you for a few minutes? Mine would run a mile but if he's supporting you maybe he'll feel up to the challenge!

Think about alternatives if you can - Rescue Remedy is good for starters, or do some exercise, or buy a juicer and start making fresh juice! Take a holistic approach. Try and do something helpful tomorrow so that you have a plan in place to start putting new structures in place to help you cope.

knockin Fri 08-Jul-05 20:37:06

I was on valium for three years. I came off them half a tablet at a time. That's all you can do. Take it very slowly. Stay on half or three quarters a tablet for as long as you
need to before going down to a quarter and then none. Just take your time.

needtogetoffthem Fri 08-Jul-05 20:39:04

screaming panic is a good way of describing how i feel-i feel permanently terrified, its awful

needtogetoffthem Fri 08-Jul-05 20:40:59

what i dont understand is that i cut down last over a week ago but the symptoms are only happening now...morning paper, i take a quarter in the morning and half in the evening.i had been doing really well, no side effects at all, thought id been lucky.

Caththerese1973 Sat 09-Jul-05 11:03:32

tranks are an okay short term solution but long term they suck! What I did was come off a QUARTER of a tab at a time (am now down to one quarter a day). And make sure that you don't go to fast - eg drop down to three quarters of a tab and stick with that for three weeks if you feel you need to. Get a tablet cutter (ask your pharmacist)to cut the tabs into measured portions. Even cut down by the eighth if you have to. It doesn't matter how long it takes, as long as you are pursuing a step-down programme and sticking to it. I'm really looking forward to the time when I won't feel like I have to have them in the house (hopefully by the end of the current prescription!).
Good luck and don't be too hard on yourself.

Caththerese1973 Sat 09-Jul-05 11:05:35

I just wanted to add that if you are severe panick symptoms you are probably going too fast. Slowly, slowly does it! If you make youself feel panicky through sudden deprivation, you will only relapse into full time usage.

needtogetoffthem Sat 09-Jul-05 18:38:31

thanks c, thats really great advice, maybe i dropped too soon from a whole tab to a quarter then,i think i will go back to a whole one again a day and get a tablet cutter like you suggest..

emzy Sun 10-Jul-05 16:03:58

there are several organisations that can help you withdraw CITA just type into search engine/also benzo.org.uk is an excellent site for information and helplines etc

kizzie Mon 11-Jul-05 16:01:08

Hi - just wanted to say that I had a long and very horrible withdrawal from seroxat which Im still getting over (on a very small dose of a tricyclic now). I was precribed valium to help with the withdrawal but ended up on it for a year so had to withdraw from that too.

Basically I just did it very very slowly. I think its quite common to feel the effects a little while after a drop (rather than immediately) because it takes a while for your body to realise it is getting less of the drug.

The pill cutter is a good idea but also try to do lots of breathing exercises and relaxation. And drink lots of water to flush out your system.

CITA (Council for involuntary Tranquiliser Addiction) have programmes you can follow but the benzo.org website has lots of info too.

I just wanted to say that it IS possible to do but just be very kind to yourself. You will get off them!!!

ALso just try to remember that whatever reason you were given the medication for in the first place may still be there. (So if it was anxiety you may still have to work on this with relaxation etc.)

Sorry this is so long winded - but Good Luck!!!
Kizziex

morningpaper Sat 23-Jul-05 11:04:23

needtogetoffthem how are you doing? I have been thinking of you - I hope things are okay. xx

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