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Managing the Fear of Benzo Withdrawal (Part 1 of 3)

Updated: Mar 23, 2023

Experts agree that reducing fear and anxiety is critical to success during benzo withdrawal. But how do you do that?

In part one of this three-part series, I introduce five key areas of focus for creating a stable mindset during withdrawal. The first of these is taking responsibility. It’s your body and your recovery — you should be in charge. Learn how to work with your doctor as a partner and take control of your own health and healing.

Video ID: BFP003


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This episode is part of a 3-part series.

The Benzo Free Podcast is also available on...



00:00 Introduction 03:15 Q&A 08:24 Feature: Managing the Fear of Benzo Withdrawal (Part 1) 20:15 Moment of Peace


Episode Summary

Welcome to the first segment of our 3-part series on Managing the Fear of Benzo Withdrawal. This series is derived from a chapter in my book titled, “Managing the Fear,” which focuses on reducing the fear, anxiety, and stress during benzo withdrawal.

Before we dive too deep into our featured topic, we chat a bit and cover a couple of questions in our Q&A section on withdrawal.


Feature Series

SERIES: Managing the Fear of Benzo Withdrawal

In my opinion, fear, and the stress and anxiety related to that fear, cause more distress and more complications during withdrawal than anything else. And this fear is not some natural psychological fear. It’s chemically enhanced.

On top of the original anxieties we had before our dependence on benzos, we now have a damaged nervous system that can’t process fear correctly. A system that can send us into a panic state — both psychologically and physiologically — at the least sign of distress.

Above all, stop worrying. Worry, fear and anxiety increase all withdrawal symptoms. Many of these symptoms are actually due to anxiety and not signs of brain or nervous system damage. People who fear withdrawal have more intense symptoms than those who just take it as it comes and think positively and confidently about recovery. Prof. Ashton, The Ashton Manual

This series is broken down into three separate parts:

PART 1 (this video) — Series Introduction — 1) Taking Responsibility for Your Own Recovery

PART 2 ( — 2) Keeping Positive — 3) Maintaining Mental and Physical Activity

PART 3 ( — 4) Having Kindness for Yourself and Others — 5) Finding Acceptance of Your Condition


Episode Description

In today’s episode, we cover the series introduction and the first key area of focus: responsibility.

INTRODUCTION The first step to finding a positive mindset for withdrawal is realizing that fear — and obsessing about that fear — makes your symptoms worse. It makes your withdrawal harder. Learning how to accept the fear but reduce the rumination is the real goal here. I found five key areas where I improved my ability to manage anxiety. They are responsibility, positivity, activity, kindness, and acceptance.

  • RESPONSIBILITY I now have a say in what happens to me. I’ll never take another prescribed medication without doing my own thorough research. I’ll never go through another medical procedure without fully understanding all the risks and weighing the pros and cons. Once I realized that I was in charge, I also knew that I couldn’t do this alone. So, I built a support team to help me through this difficult time. Taking responsibility means taking the lead in your recovery. You’re in charge, and that’s a good thing.



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.

— Ashton, C. Heather. “Benzodiazepines: How They Work and How to Withdraw (aka The Ashton Manual).” 2002. Accessed April 13, 2016. — Foster, D E. “Benzo Free: The World of Anti-Anxiety Drugs and the Reality of Withdrawal.” Erie, Colorado: Denim Mountain Press, 2018.


The Podcast

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).


All content provided by Easing Anxiety is for general informational purposes only and should never be considered medical advice. Any health-related information provided is not a substitute for medical advice and should not be used to diagnose or treat health problems, or to prescribe any medical devices or other remedies. Never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it. Please visit our website for our complete disclaimer at


Music provided / licensed by Storyblocks Audio

Benzo Free Theme

— Title: “Walk in the Park”

— Artist: Neil Cross


Easing Anxiety is produced by…

Denim Mountain Press

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