Many see benzo withdrawal as an epic, exhausting, never-ending battle — but what if it doesn’t have to be? In the final part of this three-part series, you’ll learn how to step back, get out of your own way, and let your body heal.
Kindness — both to yourself and to those around you — is a hidden secret to recovery. Anger and resentment have never been a recipe for healing. And finding acceptance of your condition and compassion for all involved is the surest way to have peace and finally discover your new life on the other side.
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This episode is part of a 3-part series: Listen to Part 1 here: https://www.easinganxiety.com/post/managing-the-fear-of-benzo-withdrawal-part-1-bfp003
Listen to Part 2 here: https://www.easinganxiety.com/post/managing-the-fear-of-benzo-withdrawal-part-2-bfp004
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00:00 Introduction 03:05 Q&A 09:00 Feature: Managing the Fear of Benzo Withdrawal (Part 3) 21:59 Moment of Peace
Welcome to the third 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 will chat a bit and cover a couple of questions in our Q&A section on detox with flumazenil and which drug is the hardest to withdraw from
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 (https://www.easinganxiety.com/post/managing-the-fear-of-benzo-withdrawal-part-1-bfp003 ) — Series Introduction — 1) Taking Responsibility for Your Own Recovery
PART 2 (https://www.easinganxiety.com/post/managing-the-fear-of-benzo-withdrawal-part-2-bfp004) — 2) Keeping Positive — 3) Maintaining Mental and Physical Activity
PART 3 (This Video) — 4) Having Kindness for Yourself and Others — 5) Finding Acceptance of Your Condition
Today we discuss two essential elements to maintaining a stable mindset during withdrawal: kindness and acceptance.
It may sound like a trivial suggestion, but kindness is critical to success during benzo withdrawal. Kindness to yourself. Kindness to those around you. Kindness to everyone. Anger, resentment, fear, frustration, these all are common emotions during withdrawal and expressing them can feel good — in the short-term. But the truth is, they don’t help you heal. Having kindness for yourself, and for those around you trying to help you, is key to success during this difficult time.
One of the best things that happened to me during withdrawal was when I found acceptance. I stopped struggling and fighting my symptoms and instead accepted my current condition. It sounds easy, but it’s a difficult transition and it usually only comes with time.
Most people experiencing benzo withdrawal see their recovery as a struggle. A fight. A battle of epic proportions. And it can be. They want to do everything they can to make it disappear. And if they can’t make it go away, then make it as easy as possible. But the symptoms of benzo withdrawal are actually symptoms of healing. The drugs are gone, or at least reduced. All that’s left is your body trying to right itself. The best thing you can do during this time is to learn to accept your condition and let your body heal.
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. http://www.benzo.org.uk/manual/.
“Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Support: Substitution.” BenzoBuddies. Accessed March 1, 2017. http://www.benzobuddies.org/benzodiazepine-withdrawal-methods/substitution/.
Foster, D E. Benzo Free: The World of Anti-Anxiety Drugs and the Reality of Withdrawal. Erie, Colorado: Denim Mountain Press, 2018.
Lader, M.H. and S.V. Morton. “A Pilot Study of the Effects of Flumazenil on Symptoms Persisting After Benzodiazepine Withdrawal.” Journal of Psychopharmacology 6(3)(January 1992):357-63. Accessed March 6, 2017. doi:10.1177/026988119200600303.
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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