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BENZO STORY: David from Japan

Updated: Feb 28, 2023


A man working through his second taper from benzodiazepines with the support of online groups, his wife, and his dog.



  1. Key Topics: Anxiety, Benzos, Dependence, Withdrawal, Mogadon (nitrazepam), Valium (diazepam), Multiple Tapers, Exercise, Mindfulness


Content Warning

Stories presented on Easing Anxiety may contain triggering content. 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.


David’s Story

I have been in Japan since 1974. I came here as a 24-year-old with a head full of dreams and stayed. I’ve had quite an interesting life style for all these years, running a small company dealing with film/digital lenses.

The taper is a beast. I try not to fixate. The Ashton method is the way to go, drop 10% every 10-14 days, if withdrawal is ‘bumpy’ — hold, but never up dose. I take a daily multi vitamin, eat even when I am nauseous, and generally try to carry on as ‘normal’.

I don’t make promises for meetings, as this sometimes stresses me out not knowing how I am going to feel, but despite this I usually get through with whatever I have to accomplish, even if my mind is racing. I guess it’s all about acceptance, having faith that life will at some point return to normal.

I guess it’s all about acceptance, having faith that life will at some point return to normal.

My psychiatrist is not particular familiar with tapers or the Ashton method. I directed him to the Ashton Japanese website, I have no idea if he bothered to look at it, I may print it out for him, which would then kind of force him to read it. Before my appointments, I visit the pharmacist who is an angel, she basically writes on a piece of paper what we decide the dosage should be, and I give it to the doctor. The pharmacist understands that I am doing this slowly, and is prepared to make up any amount in a powder dosage.

I try to keep active, even when the demons come out to play. I have a treadmill in my office, and do at least 30 minutes on it in the morning, before breakfast and my first medication of the day. Exercise is definitely the key to calming the mind.

I have a border collie, she and I go for long walks on the trails near my house. I have to wear a bell, like my dog does too, as there are sometimes bears about, although in 36 years I have never seen one. I also practice mindfulness.

The taper is a lonely task. My wife is kind, but I try not to show when things are bad. There is nothing that anyone can do. I just grin and bear it. Sometimes I succumb to crying fits and self pity, but this doesn’t last for long.

The anxiety is up and down, but it’s only anxiety…

The anxiety is up and down, but it’s only anxiety, and as I know the cause, which although doesn’t make it better, I know I am not going crazy, and it too will pass. It’s good to have your podcasts. I am only on number 7, but just someone out there knowing what I am going through, is reassuring.

I have a look into Benzo Buddies in the UK, where I am from. This was a great help on my first taper, which was 6-7 years ago. The first taper was pretty long, but only from 0.4mgs of Mogadon (nitrazepam), crossing over to Valium, (the dreaded V). After I completed the taper I had very few symptoms, nothing really protracted to speak of. Hopefully the same will apply this time.

I consider myself agnostic, however, someone once said, god only gives you as much as you can take in terms of suffering. This may be true.

Sorry for the long mail. Thanks for being there.

Best wishes, David


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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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