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Matt Samet: Recovery from benzo withdrawal syndrome

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Matt Samet's book about his ordeal, Death Grip, will be published in February by St. Martin's Press.

 

At 7 years, he is fully recovered.

 

See his article http://www.madinamerica.com/2012/12/the-other-side/

 

....

I did my research, realized it would likely take months and years — not weeks — for my brain and nervous system to normalize to something resembling a baseline state, and I made my peace as best I could with a time span then ultimately unknowable, even as I craved nothing more than its end. Even as I prayed for a fast-forward button on my very life so that I might wake up some magical, sun-soaked morning no longer paralyzed by a swarm of profound and horrific symptoms.

 

....

But time is only half the equation, because the true crux is what you do with that time. There is no fast-forward button on life, and I don’t believe there should be. ....As I learned, to truly get well, I needed to utilize and even “enjoy” those bleak, mirthless months, weeks, days, minutes, seconds, and microseconds of psycho-spiritual hell, because I simply had no clue when they would end.

 

....

Even in the throes of reality-shattering symptoms like depersonalization and derealization, I still needed to live in the moment and learn from this experience lest I fall prey to the same mistakes that had brought me here.

 

I was still me; this was still my life.

 

As I hope to explore more thoroughly in future posts, I took proactive steps to reclaim normalcy. Upon deliberately leaving behind the doctors and the hospitals, I wrote my own discharge plan, since theirs — a chemical straitjacket of manmade molecules — wasn’t working for me. At a glance, the things that helped the most were distraction; forcing myself back into physical and intellectual form coupled somewhat paradoxically with ample rest (remaining physically and emotionally still); avoiding stress; and cultivating empathy and an awareness of my plight and how it temporarily redefined my role in the world. I hope to share deeper and more anecdotal specifics as this blog matures, because it was through these experiences that I became me again, almost like an actor learning to inhabit a new role.

 

Finally, I’d love to reassure anyone reading this or in benzo or anti-depressant or anti-psychotic withdrawal hell that it does get better, and that I have healed much more than I ever thought possible. At my darkest hours, I certainly lacked all faith. Sleeping two hours a night, vibrating constantly like a half-busted refrigerator, barely able to converse or make eye contact, sweating, sheathed in muscular rigidity, panicking, too weak and fatigued to exercise, too distracted to read even a simple magazine article, I remember thinking the pain would never end. But it did.

 

Consider that: A big anniversary, the seven-year one, came and went and I barely even noticed. That more than anything should be proof that even the worst of basket cases, myself included, eventually do improve.


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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strawberry17

My copy of this turned up yesterday.


*** Please note this is not medical advice,discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner***





http://prozacwithdrawal.blogspot.com/
Original drug was sertraline/Zoloft, switched to Prozac in 2007.
Tapering from 5mls liquid prozac since Feb 2008, got down to 0.85ml 23/09/2012, reinstated back to 1ml(4mg) 07/11/2012, didn't appear to work, upped to 1.05ml 17/11/2012, back down to 1ml 12/12/2012 didn't work, up to 1.30ml 16/3/2013 didn't work, bumped up to 2ml (8mg) 4/4/2013 didn't work, in July 2013 I reinstated Sertraline (Zoloft) 50mg, feeling better now. 

A few months down the line I switched to 5ml liquid Prozac and tapered down to a compromise dose of 3ml liquid Prozac and have stayed there ever since, no withdrawals and no emotional blunting/loss of libido.

 

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Altostrata

Let us know what you think, strawb!


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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Sparrow

I received my order for this book this week, too. Matt's posts on the Mad in America site resonated deeply with me.


2009-2011: tapered off Trazodone, Namenda, Lamictal, Dextroamphetamine, Zyprexa; cold-turkeyed Pristiq; reduced Lexapro dose 50%.
On clonazepam since 2004, 0.5 - 1.0 mg daily PRN. Three failed (too rapid) partial tapers, 2010 - 2011.
Dec. 2011 - March 2013: Tapered off 0.5 mg clonazepam (Klonopin)

August 2013: Switched to liquid escitalopram (Lexapro) and began tapering from 10 mg.

January 2014: 4.5 mg escitalopram

March 2014: One year off benzos

May 2014: 3.0 mg escitalopram

June 2014: severe depression, updosed to 4.0 mg

Sept 1, 2014: 2.7 mg

Dec 7, 2014: Can't get below 2.5 mg without unbearable symptoms. Doing an extended hold (I hope)

March 2015: TWO YEARS POST-BENZO

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strawberry17

Oh dear I haven't even started it yet, I'm on a Richard III craze at the moment.


*** Please note this is not medical advice,discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner***





http://prozacwithdrawal.blogspot.com/
Original drug was sertraline/Zoloft, switched to Prozac in 2007.
Tapering from 5mls liquid prozac since Feb 2008, got down to 0.85ml 23/09/2012, reinstated back to 1ml(4mg) 07/11/2012, didn't appear to work, upped to 1.05ml 17/11/2012, back down to 1ml 12/12/2012 didn't work, up to 1.30ml 16/3/2013 didn't work, bumped up to 2ml (8mg) 4/4/2013 didn't work, in July 2013 I reinstated Sertraline (Zoloft) 50mg, feeling better now. 

A few months down the line I switched to 5ml liquid Prozac and tapered down to a compromise dose of 3ml liquid Prozac and have stayed there ever since, no withdrawals and no emotional blunting/loss of libido.

 

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peggy

inspirational story - i will look out for the book


Started in 2000 - On 150mg most of the time, (but up to 225mg at highest dose for 6 months in the beginning)
Reduced off easily first time - but got depressed (not too much anxiety) 6 months later
Back on effexor for another 9 months.
Reduced off again with no immediate w/d - suddenly got depressed and anxious ++ again 3 or 4 months later.
Back on effexor - this time for 3 years
Reduced off over a month - 6 weeks later terrible anxiety - back on.
Rinse and repeat 4 more times - each time the period before the anxiety comes back got shorter and shorter
Jan - July 2012 75mg down to 37.5mg;, 8/3/12 - 35mg. 8/25/12 - 32mg. 9/11- 28mg, 10/2 - 25mg, 10/29 - 22mg, 11/19 - 19.8mg; 12/11 - 17m,
1/1- 15.5mg; 1/22 -14mg, 2/7 14.9mg, 2/18 - 17.8mg - crashed big time: back to 75mg where i sat for 2 years....

4th  March 2015 - 67.5mg;   31st March - 60mg;  24th April - 53mg; 13th May - 48mg; 26th May - 45mg;  9th June - 41mg; 1 July- 37.5mg; 20 July - 34mg; 11 August - 31mg; 1st Sept - 28mg;  1st Dec - 25.8mg;  28th Dec - 23.2mg; 23rd Jan-21.9mg; Feb 7th- 21mg; March 1st - 20.1mg, March 30th - 18mg

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GardeniaBlossom

Was the book informative? Useful? Does anyone recommend it?


After being on (over 25) psychiatric meds continuously during a 16 year period, I began in July 2014 to taper off 1mg Klonopin. In September 2014, I came off Brintellix, Trazadone, Zoloft, Proprityline & Hydroxyzine in 2 weeks on my own without knowledge on how to taper properly. I've been off all psych "meds" since 10/2014 and am currently experiencing protracted withdrawal.

 

Medication history: Vibryd, Wellbutrin, Lithium, Prozac, Xanax, Celexa, Cymbalta, Trileptal, Lamictal, Abilify, Zoloft, Trazadone, Citalopram, Effexor, Seroquel, Klonopin, Paxil, Brintellix, Protriptyline, Lexapro, Pristiq, Buspar, Clonidine, Lorazepam, Notriptyline, Hydroxyzine, Serzone.

 

Introduction: http://bit.ly/1SIxWwl.

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