Updated: Mar 23
Do you know much about the cognitive effects of benzodiazepines and Z-drugs? Perhaps you should. Memory loss, cognitive dysfunction, and intrusive memories are all possible symptoms of benzo use and withdrawal.
In today’s episode, we talk about the damage benzodiazepines and Z-drugs can inflict on our mental capacity. We also hear a benzo story from England, answer a question about GABA receptors, and learn what it really feels like to heal. BTW, it feels good.
Video ID: BFP017
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00:00 Introduction 11:42 Mailbag 13:39 Benzo News 15:50 Benzo Story 20:33 FEATURE: Benzo Brain 40:54 Moment of Peace
The following resource links are provided as a courtesy to our listeners. They do not constitute an endorsement by Easing Anxiety of the resource or any recommendations or advice provided therein.
FEATURE: Benzo Brain
Ashton, C. Heather. Benzodiazepines: How They Work and How to Withdraw (aka The Ashton Manual). 2002. Accessed April 13, 2016. http://www.benzo.org.uk/manual.
Barker, M.J., K.M. Greenwood, M. Jackson, S.F. Crowe. “Cognitive Effects of Long-Term Benzodiazepine Use: A Meta-Analysis.” CNS Drugs 18(1)(2004):37-48. Accessed March 6, 2017. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14731058.
Doyle, Chase, “Benzodiazepine Exposure Can Predict Delirium in Critically Ill Children,” Anesthesiology News, October 13, 2016, accessed October 13, 2016, http://www.anesthesiologynews.com/Clinical-Anesthesiology/Article/10-16/Benzodiazepine-Exposure-Can-Predict-Delirium-in-Critically-Ill-Children/38055.
Foster, D E. Benzo Free: The World of Anti-Anxiety Drugs and the Reality of Withdrawal. Erie, Colorado: Denim Mountain Press, 2018. https://easinganxiety.com/book.
Guina, Jeffrey, and Brian Merrill. “Benzodiazepines I: Upping the Care on Downers: The Evidence of Risks, Benefits and Alternatives.” Journal of Clinical Medicine 7(2)(February 2018):17. Accessed July 12, 2018. doi: 10.3390/jcm7020017.
Gorenstein, C., M. A. Bernik and S. Pompéia. “Differential Acute Psychomotor and Cognitive Effects of Diazepam on Long-Term Benzodiazepine Users.” International Clinical Psychopharmacology 9(3)(1994):145-53. Accessed March 6, 2017. doi:10.1097/00004850-199409000-00002.
Hunt, Liz and Glenn Frankel, “Britain Takes Halcion Sleeping Pills off the Market,” Washington Post, October 3, 1991, accessed April 8, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/1991/10/03/britain-takes-halcion-sleeping-pills-off-the-market/21d83dc2-2260-440d-96d1-7da13ceb0198/?utm_term=.e008daa4566c.
Tata, P.R., J. Rollings, M. Collins, A. Pickering and R. R. Jacobson. “Lack of Cognitive Recovery Following Withdrawal from Long-Term Benzodiazepine Use.” Psychological Medicine 24(1)(February 1994):203-13. Accessed April 15, 2018. doi:10.1017/S0033291700026969.
U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA/DoD). PTSD: National Center for PTSD: Use of Benzodiazepines for PTSD in Veterans Affairs. Accessed June 21, 2017. https://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/treat/txessentials/benzos_va.asp.
In today’s intro, I was feeling good — and I shared that with the listeners. My healing has been progressing and I’m now, ever so slowly, getting my life back. Actually, I’m getting a better life than I had. And I wanted to share that with the listeners as a reminder that healing does take place and there are good things on the other side.
I also talked about limited the length of the podcast episodes down to 45 minutes or so. I felt that they were getting too long and I explained that this might include making some sections periodic.
This is where we share questions and comments which were discussed:
QUESTION: Do Your GABA Receptors Heal During Titration? This comment was from Kathy in Colorado, USA. She wanted to know if her GABA receptors were healing during titration (or taper). I told her they probably were and that when you start reducing the amount of drug in your body, homeostasis kicks in again and starts the rebalancing effect— but this process can take a very long time.
Today’s story was from a Nancy in England.
Today’s featured topic: Benzo Brain: Cognitive Dysfunction and Memory Loss in Withdrawal.
This was the fifth installment in our 14-part series on benzo withdrawal symptoms. It focused on cognitive effects of benzo withdrawal which included cognitive dysfunction, memory loss, and intrusive memories. I discussed each symptom at length and included several references which can be seen in our links above
The Benzo Free Podcast provides information, support, and community to those who struggle with the long-term effects of anxiety medications such as benzodiazepines (Xanax, Ativan, Klonopin, Valium) and Z-drugs (Ambien, Lunesta, Sonata).
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