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BENZO STORY: Cheryl from Southeast Kansas

Updated: Mar 23, 2023

Summary


Story of benzo withdrawal from a mother of two whose been on Xanax for 33 years along with Ambien, Buspirone, and Imipramine. She is currently tapering off her medication.

 

Details

  1. Key Topics: Anxiety, Benzos, Dependence, Withdrawal, Xanax (alprazolam), Doctors, Support Groups, Faith

  2. Listen on the Podcast: https://www.easinganxiety.com/post/the-ashton-manual-who-wrote-it-and-why-you-should-read-it-bfp007

 

Content Warning


Stories presented on Easing Anxiety may contain triggering content for certain segments of the population. If this is a concern for you, please refrain from reading any further. These stories are provided for informational purposes only and should never be considered medical advice. Opinions stated are those of the author only. See our disclaimer at the bottom of this post for more information.

 

Cheryl’s Story


I just ran across your podcast and I have listened to the first 3. My story.


I’m 57. I have been on Xanax for 33 yrs, basically my entire adult life. I have 2 grown children and 5 grandchildren. A very supportive husband (a wonderful hard working, easy going man of few words). We live in a very rural area in SE Kansas.


My first panic attack was when I was 7. I really don’t know how I made it through school. I had to learn how to hide my panic. No one knew about it, not friends or family. After my children were born, I finally couldn’t cope so I went to my doctor and he put me on Xanax. Finally, I could relax, I also suffer from emectophobia (the fear of throwing up).

I was taking up to 8 mg a day until about 18 months ago… No one ever told me about these drugs. Cheryl

I started working at a mental health clinic where I started talking to the staff and a physiatrist. I have been to the Mayo clinic in Scottsdale, KU medical center, doctors in Tulsa, and so many therapists and counselors that I can’t remember all of them.


I was taking up to 8 mg a day until about 18 months ago. I was again transferred to another counselor who said I needed to get off of it. Also Ambien, buspirone, and imipramine. I’m now down to 4.5 mg a day of Xanax and am still on the others.


No one ever told me about these drugs. I, like you, finally started to do research while going from 5 down to 4.5 and suddenly I started feeling symptoms of withdrawal. Now, along with yet another therapist, we are continuing the taper but she wants me to wait another couple of weeks before tapering down by .25 mg because of the symptoms.


I find Facebook and Benzo buddies very unhelpful and causes more stress for me personally. Benzo Brains on you tube is better for me at this time. More informative. I know I have a long way to go.


I have been house-bound since the first of February. I have been relying on my faith to get through this. I am already on disability since 1997 and am really thankful for that, but the panic “disorder” is what I get disability for. (I was lucky to have a very understanding judge, but still had to fight for it)

When I get through this with the grace of God, I want to help others.

I could go on and on but I’m sure you have heard it all before. My taper is going to be long and slow at first to see how I handle it. I made my first taper by myself and it was too much for me. My doctor told me I could go back up by .25 mg, but I didn’t want to do it, so I didn’t.


When I get through this with the grace of God, I want to help others. I appreciate you and what you are doing. I think the handling of this medication is one if the most underestimated and uninformed there is.


Keep up your good work! I’ll be listening and reading your book.


And God Bless you! Cheryl

 

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Disclaimer


All stories shared on Easing Anxiety are done so with the author’s permission. These stories are provided for informational purposes only and should never be considered medical advice. The views and opinions expressed within are those of the author only, and do not necessarily reflect those of Easing Anxiety or its founder. Stories presented on Easing Anxiety may contain triggering content for certain segments of the population. While provided as an informational resource to our community, some stories may not be beneficial to those who are sensitive to their content. Regarding benzodiazepine withdrawal or BIND, most people can withdraw safely, successfully, and without serious complications if they are informed and have a solid support system. Many of the stories shared on Easing Anxiety are extreme and should not be used to create any expectations of one’s individual experience. Please read the Ashton Manual formore information and work with your doctor. Withdrawal, tapering, or any other change in dosage of benzodiazepines, nonbenzodiazepines (Z-drugs), or any other prescription medication should only be done under the direct supervision of a licensed physician. View our complete disclaimer for more info.

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