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Gardener99-ADs and Benzos


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Hi, I'm a divorced, middle-aged woman in the Midwest. I have been on a few different meds, as you can see from my signature. I tried a couple of ADs in the past during an emotionally ehausting marriage. I tried a short course of Zoloft and was told I could wean off fairly quickly. The WD was horrific but, mercifully didn't last long, so I survived. I developed severe myoclonus that lasted nearly a year from just a few days on Prozac and am still prone to myoclonus. I took those meds because I believed those TV commercials that told me I was hurting my family because I was depressed and a pill would make me a better mom. Quite the opposite happened.


Now I'm trying to wean off of Xanax. It was prescribed for severe sleep problems that developed post menopause about a year ago. I first tried and tapered from trazodone because it wasn't efffective. Then my doctor switched me to Xanax. I was reassured by him that I could take it long term and be fine. I took it for less than 6 months. It stopped working for sleep and caused terrible anxiety from interdose withdrawal. I had never expereinced this kind of anxiety before starting the Xanax. I believed the Xanax was hurting me but my doctor didn't agree. I found a new doctor who agreed with me and is helping me taper, although he is becoming impatient with how slowly I need to go to function. My taper has been going on for about 6 months. I was hospitalized once for severe withdrawal symtpoms (unable to eat/sleep/function, suicidal). I have lost a lot of weight and struggle to not lose any more because I am already very thin.


After the hospitalization, I slowed waaaay down on my taper. I am still in waves of anxiety most of the time. At the rate I'm going, it will be nearly 2 years before I get off of it.


I have been disabled by the Xanax taper and need help with simple thngs like self care, housework, etc., because I cannot focus to follow through on tasks and am often paralyzed by fears. I can no longer drive outside of my neighborhood and often not in my neighborhood. Even if someone else is driving, I cannot tolerate highway speeds.


All of this has caused my depression to come back, but I am not willing to take another AD. I do need to take something for sleep or I sleep 0-2 hours/night. I will deal with those meds after the Xanax taper.


I guess I will be mostly on the benzo board.

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I have a mundane question. When I try to import a photo, it says file too large. I'm not sure what that means or how to fix it.

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  • Administrator

Welcome, gardener.


We have many people in the same situation as you, please visit this forum http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/forum/29-members-only-benzo-tapering-discussion/to discuss your benzo taper.


Please post in Technical support regarding your upload question.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Hi gardener, I wish you success with your taper. Best wishes on your road to recovery

I suffer from depression, anxiety, pure-o ocd, and panic attacks since 2004. Been on multiple different psychiatric drugs since 2006. Never had a significant WD problem before, only brain zaps for a month and then I'd be fine...............Been on Cipralex (escitalopram) 15 mg and Fluanxol (flupentixol) 1 mg since Sep 2014. Stopped taking the Cipralex after a fast 20-day taper.Took the last 5 mg Cipralex on Feb 5th, 2015. Then took Seroxat (paroxetine) 10 mg for a week, and stopped it too. Severe WD started suddenly on Feb 16th. RI 5 mg Cipralex on Feb 18th, 2015. RI worked and was relatively stable for a while................April 7 - decreased Fluanxol from 1 mg to 0.5 mg and took it at this dose for a week. - BIG MISTAKE; April 13 - WD starts creeping in; April 14 - RI full dose of Fluanxol 1 mg => severe muscle twitching and jerking when trying to relax and fall asleep, overwhelming sense of doom, dread, terror, and horror, insomnia, hoping to stabilize.
Tried doing a 10% cut off Fluanxol in the end of May for a few days, but quickly updosed to full dose because the twitching returned.
Experiencing waves and windows in the following months.
Unsuccessful brief taper attempt of Fluanxol by 5% on November 1st. Symptoms hit the next day. Too scared to continue tapering, reinstate full dose.
Severe crash in November after stupidly trying a barbiturate on November 9th. Grave mistake. Sense of unshakable inescapable internal torture, like my soul is in hell being tortured, terror/horror/dread/doom (probably akathisia?) that gets especially bad when trying to relax and fall asleep, muscles twitch, jerk and move on their own, shaking, insomnia, can't eat, confusion, disorientation, brain not working normally. Never felt so bad in my entire life. Never experiment with other meds while in WD! Praying to God I stabilize and get back to my baseline.
December - things getting even worse.

January - unbearable suffering

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  • 3 months later...

Still trying to taper the Xanax. Still painfully slow. Reading on the benzo board. Considering crossing over to Valium. Not much more to add.

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