The Unsung Heroes: Support for the Benzo Caregiver
Few individuals deserve higher praise than the benzo caregiver. These are the angels who take care of us through thick and thin. My wife was my angel, and she was amazing! I would not be here doing this without her undying love and support. For that, and so much more, I am truly grateful.
But, others are not so lucky. Some individuals dealing with BIND (benzodiazepine-induced neurological dysfunction) — also known as protracted withdrawal — don't have the support I had. Many of them are suffering, isolated and alone. My heart goes out to these individuals and I wish I could help them more in their plight. Caregivers can make a huge difference in one's recovery, and for that alone, we should be grateful.
Benzo withdrawal can turn peoples' lives up-side-down, which can have a direct impact on those around them — including you. By believing them, creating a calm environment, simplifying, focusing on the positive, and taking time for yourself, you and your loved one can weather the storms more comfortably. — Shana Foster, my caregiver (from Benzo Free)
One of the key focuses of Easing Anxiety since its inception, has been the plight of the benzo caregiver. I have often mentioned on the podcast that taking care of someone going through benzo withdrawal is a "huge ask." Many individuals who struggle with BIND can face severe, even disabling symptoms. Self-care, let alone caring for one's family, is often beyond their abilities. But, when the patient, caregiver, family and friends work as a team, educate themselves on the process, and look out for each other, weathering the storm becomes much easier.
A key point that I like to make on the podcast, is to be grateful for whatever support we have. I realize that BIND is overwhelming for many of us, and that thinking of others is difficult during this time, to say the least. But, when we can, when we have that window, when we notice something someone has done for us — show some gratitude. Even a little bit goes a long way. Just saying "thank you" can let that person know that you appreciate all that they do.
Thankfully, many of the benzo support organizations know the struggles caregivers go through and help them with tools, tips, and info. Still, finding this information in the sea of online overload can be daunting. And, that's where today's blog post comes in.
Below, I have listed some of the key support tools available on the web. Some are for general caregivers, but many are specific to benzodiazepines. If you know of additional resources, please add them in the comments.
For those caregivers out there, I hope this helps ease burdens, just a bit. And thank you, for all you do. God bless.
For the Benzo Caregiver (10 Tips for the Caregiver) — Easing Anxiety — https://www.easinganxiety.com/post/for-the-benzo-caregiver
Resource List (incl. Suicide Prevention) — Easing Anxiety — https://www.easinganxiety.com/resources
9 Caregiver Support Groups that Help Caregivers in Need — Caring Bridge — https://www.caringbridge.org/resources/caregiver-support-groups/
14 Life-Changing Tips to Relieve Caregiver Stress — Caring Bridge — https://www.caringbridge.org/resources/techniques-to-relieve-caregiver-stress/
Caring for the Caregiver: 25 Ways to Care for Yourself — Caring Bridge — https://www.caringbridge.org/resources/care-for-the-caregiver/
How to Find a Caregiver Support Group That's Right for You — AARP — https://www.aarp.org/caregiving/life-balance/info-2021/support-groups.html?KNC-DSO-CAREGIVING-Caregiving-LovedOnes-NonBrand-Phrase-35899-GOOG-CaregivingSupportGroup-Phrase-NonBrand&gclid=Cj0KCQjww4-hBhCtARIsAC9gR3b80jIFbMIdMCH9jQMBi9JcC_qX3rOF0i3O-Omxce7c3z4DR0UKAMEaAjDzEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds
How to support a loved one with benzo withdrawal syndrome — Jennifer Leigh — https://benzowithdrawalhelp.com/for-bwd-bind-sufferers/curing-fear/how-to-support-a-loved-with-benzo-withdrawal-syndrome/
Seniors and Benzodiazepines: What All Caregivers Need to Know — mmLearn.org — https://training.mmlearn.org/blog/seniors-and-benzodiazepines-what-all-caregivers-need-to-know
Supporting an Adult Child in Benzo Withdrawal — BIC (Nicole Lamberson, PA) — https://www.benzoinfo.com/2022/12/05/supporting-an-adult-child-in-benzo-withdrawal/
What We Wish Family and Friends Knew About Benzo Withdrawal — Jennifer Leigh — https://benzowithdrawalhelp.com/for-bwd-bind-sufferers/recovery/what-we-wish-family-and-friends-knew-about-benzo-withdrawal/
Conversation with a Caregiver — The Benzo Free Podcast — https://www.easinganxiety.com/post/conversation-with-a-caregiver-bfp012
The Dinner Party: Caregivers, Relationships, and Living with BIND — The Benzo Free Podcast — https://www.easinganxiety.com/post/the-dinner-party-caregivers-relationships-and-living-with-bind-bfp104
How to Talk to Loved Ones about Benzos (with D E Foster) — BIC — https://www.easinganxiety.com/post/bic-video-how-to-talk-to-loved-ones-about-benzos
Tips for Loved Ones: From a Benzo Survivor — Jocelyn Pedersen — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80UaSfj58fg
What family and friends need to know about benzo withdrawal — Jennifer Leigh — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AmiYLWnhvC0
Today's Caregiver — Magazine for family & professional caregivers— https://caregiver.com/