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Clonazepam Withdrawal Symtoms(symptoms)
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Clonazepam Withdrawal Symtoms(symptoms)

I have been taking clonazepam over the past 5 years.  Recently I have tried to get off of the medication because I would like to become pregnant.  I know that clonazepam causes serious birth defects and am currently on birth control.  I use to take 2 2mg. tablets at bedtime.  I have been diagnosed with PTSD for awhile now.  I use to take zypexa and gained about 50 lbs.  I used to weigh 135 and went up to 180.  I have lost 25 lbs. though with regular exercise and am now 165.  Anyway...in the last 4 months I have been cutting my clonazepam down gradually.  I am also taking Trazadone to help me sleep.  Right now I am taking 100mg of Trazadone at bedtime and I cut my clonazepam down to .5 mg.  I have done this slowly and followed ny Dr.'s advice. However, ever since I started to cut it down  I have been having extreme bloating and numbness under my chin.  I realize that I need to lose some more weight but I have actually lost weight.  I know that clonazepam depresses the CNS.  Could this be how I will ALWAYS feel without clonazepam?  It's a horrible feeling.  My whole face feels numb.  I have been extremely irritable.  And it just only started since I have neen lowering my clonazepam.  I feel really goofy and out of it at times.  I have actually been laughing more although I feel rather stupid and childish.  I was just wondering if this bloated/numbness feeling is a withdrawal symtom or if this is how my body really feels without clonazepam.  And also, what are the withdrawal symtoms (symptoms)?  Could Trazadone be playing a part in this as well?  Please help:(
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It is very unlikely that the bloating and numbness have anything at all to do with withdrawal from clonazepam.  It is an anxiety suppressant, so feeling giddy and laughing may be more a natural reaction that has come back after a long period of suppression.

The Trazadone is also not a factor in the bloating.  When you go off altogether you will not have any symptoms if you go down to the smallest possible dose every third day in the third week, and then stop.

The only withdrawal symptom to worry about is seizures, and that won't happen with this three week cut down schedule.
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P.S. This feeling that I described above also just seems to happen near the end of the day.  Could this be because my meds are wearing off sooner? Or is this a part of my PTSD.  Could I be having anxiety that would cause the numness feeling?  If anyone has any advise...I would greatly appreciate it...Thanks!
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I'm not a medical doc, but I myself have taken about 60 1mg of these pills since August, and I can tell you, I've gone through hell and back just cutting back from about three fourths of a pill per day down to 0.5 per day. At first, I wasn't taking them everyday, but than I started to on a daily basis for the purposes of restful sleep, and the whole thing has just been crazy. My thinking is all distorted on this stuff, so I'm getting off of it asap.

I have also experienced several of the same symptoms that you have mentioned, and don't be surprised-my physician told me, after the fact, mind you, that this stuff is essentially a very mild form of the LSD drug.

So don't be surprised whatsoever in terms of the symptoms you're going through. To be able to go from 4mg per day down to 0.5 is very impressive. Based on what I've read, few can do that on their own without ending up in some psych ward, so you should be proud of yourself, ma'am.

I have been trying to get some clarification into the actual dangers of withdrawal from this stuff. Some docs believe that you can't get addicted to it AT ALL, while others say that Klonopin, this drug in particular, can cause very serious, if not outright dangerous withdrawal symptoms, even after just a couple of months of use.

It will be interesting to see what type of response you get. Good luck to you, ma'am.



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Thank you for your input.  I just got my response from the M.D.  I can't necessarily agree that there are no withdrawal symptoms based on what I have experienced.  I have tried three seperate times to go off of clonazepam and everytime I have had a rough time.  I have had crazy dreams every night.  I have also had an increased sense to light and sounds.  It is kind-of scary that the side effect to worry about is a seizure, but I honestly think that there has to be more withdrawal symtoms (symptoms) than that.  My face feels numb for about a week after I cut my clonazepam down and then I feel ok until I do it again, but it is just a horrible feeling!  Do you have any symptoms when you don't take it?  I have looked at several web sites and there are not really any listed.  My Dr. tells me that it will cause body aches but that is about it.  That is why I am on here to see if anybody that actually takes it and knows what it does has any funky withdrawal symtoms (symptoms).  Thank you.
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Ok...And this might be a stupid question but is Klonopin the same as  clonazepam?
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i used to take trazadone and it made me look swollen. it helped me sleep even though i had vivid dreams. i stopped taking it cause i looked sooo swollen. good luck to you. lol
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Yes, Klonopin=Clonazepam. Klonopin is the generic version, but I'm on the same one you are.

The bottomline, Mel, I'm not a medical doc, but I would really, really have to imagine that you've weathered 95% of the storm. If you've already cut it by 80%+ over that long of a period, I mean, I would have to think the worse part of it is clearly over with.

I did read an article one time that mentioned patients withdrawing from these types of medications should have their blood drawn for zinc, copper, magnesium, B6, and B12, the latter was the most important, evidently. So that's something you can ask your doc about I suppose to see if it would be warranted in your case.

Beyond that, however, I'm sure you'll be ok. The doc already wrote you something here I think, didn't he? So I would follow up on his advise, as well as what your own doc has to say about things, and you'll be just fine. A lot of this can just be the imagination, too, although I will deny that in every capacity when it comes the withdrawals of this med at a personal level. It's just a strange medication all around. I'm bailing, too~.
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I only took .5 mg once a day before bed to help me sleep through the night. I was also taking 300 mg of Wellbutrin a day. I decided after one year of being on the Clonazepam to    stop taking it. Just 4 days after I stopped, I started having horrible withdrawl (withdrawal) symtoms (symptoms)...such as electric shock pulses that ran through my arms and leg. I also experienced a very strange, heavy, dizzy feeling in my head, almost as if my head was so full of water. I called my Doctor and he told me that Clonazapam didn't have withdrawl (withdrawal) symtoms (symptoms) and I just wouldn't accept that answer. I continued to stay off of the Clonazapam and had continued with those symtoms (symptoms) for about seven days until they gradually went away. I think it depends on the person as to the severity of the withdrawls. Everyone is so different in so many ways. I think that's why some of those types of drugs work for some and don't work for others. I just hate that I feel I have to rely on drugs to make me feel better mentally.

The withdrawls won't last forever!!! Remember that!

P.S. I also had withdrawls from Wellbutrin when I tried to quit that drug too.
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I am so very glad that I have discovered this web site. I thought I was losing my mind. I feel better just knowing that I am not alone with this. I literally thought I was going to die when I tried to wean off of Effexor XR, then it was onto Zoloft, which destroyed my sex drive. Then I was switched to Wellbutrin XL. I used Clonazepam for sleep. I am currently weaning off of both. I am on a every other day on the Wellbutrin XL and cold turkey on the Clonazepam. I have constant headaches and starting yesterday dizziness. I have not taken clonazepam for over a week now. I am determined to get through this. Not one single DR, every mentioned the possiblility of seizure. I wish they would tell us EVERYTHING before they start us on medications. Personally I think they should take Effexor off the market. Everyone we are in this together. I am tired of being tired all the time. I was told the Wellbutrin would give me more energy....hmmmmm it hasn't done that.
Godd luck everyone.
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I have been taken off of Clonazepam over a week ago. I have been feeling really bad and was just looking for someone to tell me the things I am experiencing are normal. Feelings of fainting, headaches, numbness in my hands, feeling out of control and wanting to cry? I had to leave work the other day because I just couldn't get it together. I just feel like giving in and going back on it to make these feelings go away
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I know what you are feeling. I am going through the same. You are not alone. I am new to this site, but not new to the problem. I am so determined to be off of this. My worst symtom is this constant nagging headache and being unable to sleep. I too am crying again. I am hoping that all of this will pass. Maybe someone who has been through this will respond. Good luck and God Bless
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Thanks for writing me back. I also am new to this sight, I just found it today. It is good to know there is other people out there with the same situation,after awhile you feel like maybe your just going crazy. How long have you been on this medication? I've been on it for 3 years and I'm only 27. I really hope this isn't something I will have to fight with for the rest of my life because I don't think I'll be able to. Thank you again and I wish the best for you in your recovery.
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This is a drug I feel should not be prescribed.  While I've suffered for anxiety my entire adult life, I've been on this for 13 years, and before that Ativan.  I've never been able to successfully get off of this medication.  It really does make me feel like a drug addict.  If I don't take it one morning, I am a mess.  If I run out and can't get the medication refilled over a weekend, I will be suffering horrible withdrawel all weekend.  Here I am, not a heroin addict or anything, feeling like I am a drug addict, and I am a drug addict.  I am not only hoping to get off of this medication, but also Paxil.  What I am considering for getting off of this medication and Paxil is to put myself in a drug rehab clinic for a month or 2 weeks and stop all of it . . . at least I will be in an environment where I do not have to deal with anything else.  

I'm not sure doctor's are aware of how difficult it is to get off of these medications.  I should know.  I have been trying unsuccessfully for years to get off of this drug.  The problem is that I feel it no longer benefits me, yet my body is physically addicted to it to a point that if I were suddenly to not take it, I could not work.  Even slowly tapering off is so impossible.

IF any of you out there are taking Paxil and clonezepam . . . please let me know if you too are trying to get off of this . . . and maybe we can form a support group.  I tell very few people I take any medication . . .
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For anyone trying to withdraw safely and correctly from benzodiazepines (Ativan, Klonopin and Xanax) please visit www.benzo.org.uk and join their private forum for adequate support. And I have to disagree with this doctor: Klonopin is possibly one of the most potent and dangerous benzodiazepines. It not only affects GABA (Benzo) receptors but also alters 2 separate serotonin receptors, leading to depression and increased inter-dose withdrawal anxiety in 100% of patients taking Klonopin for longer than 4 weeks.

The American and Canadian medical systems have no clue as to how much destruction they're causing by criminally malprescribing the most addictive medication ever approved for human use. The UK's National Formulary (their FDA prescribing guidelines) cautions that benzodiazepines should be tapered at a 10% per fortnight cutting schedule. For a copy of this document please visit www.benzo.org.uk

Good luck and God bless
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i been having panic attacks since 1989. i was on clonazepam taking half of .05 in the morning. i was doing good and my dr. decided to put me on lexapro. it was very bad, i could not stand the side effects. today i dont know if the side effects was from lexapro or from the clonazepam that he took me off cold turkey. i was only able to take the lexapro for two weeks, when i stop taking it i felt fine and i know dont take anything. couple of weeks ago i felt anxious and panic again, it does not happen all the time but it does occur. i visited my dr. yesterday and he said to take clonazepam on needed bassis only. like to here some comments, thank you
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Hi fred,

Sorry to hear about your anxiety. If you can deal with it without drugs, that's the best path for you. Of course, that requires a lot of work on your part, but it's a lot safer than Klonopin. However, if you're not able to work around the anxiety without meds, and you think Klonopin's for you, then remember that even though you're planning on taking only occasionally, the reality is that you're going to become dependent on it, take it more often over time, eventually developing tolerance and rebound symptoms. The only relief you're going to get at that point is to pop another Klonopin. This is how people become unintentionally dependent/addicted. Once that happens and you miss a couple of days, or try to quit at an accelerated withdrawal schedule, you'll find yourself on the hellish side of detox.

Good luck and god bless.
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what is the best way to overcome anxiety and does over the counter herbs really works? i have read about passion flower and the rest of stuff out there but i have never met anyone that has taken it.
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Hi frred,

Have you looked into dietary and nutritional changes first? I know of many people who've done extremely well by cutting gluten and casein from their diet. You could set up a challenge diet for yourself and see if you notice any improvement. There's a wonderful celiac disease/gluten sensitivity forum over at Harvard's BrainTalk Communities. Copy and paste this address into your web browser, it'll take you directly to the site: http://brain.hastypastry.net/forums/forumdisplay.php?s=&daysprune=-1&f=141

When you get on that board look under their: The Gluten File sticky at the top of the board. Just poke around in there and you'll find research articles about the relationship between gluten (wheat, barley, rye, and sometimes oat protein) and anxiety & depressive disorders. You should also consider joining up and asking general questions as to how you could try a challenge diet. The folks there are really knowledgeable and helpful.

Just a note of interest: 1 in 100 people are believed to have gluten intolerance in the US, especially if they're of Irish, English or otherwise northern European descent. Anxiety, depression, scizophrenia, ADD, autism, Tourettes, gluten ataxia, are just a small number of related disorders that respond favorably to a gluten free diet. Check it out and good luck.
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a friend was taking clonazepam in the morning for the past 12 months and he started getting off with the same dosage except he was skipping days. he was taking 0.5, he said he did not get withdralws.is that because of the way he got off or is it because of the low dosage?
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For those of you who have gone off clonazepam, how many days did you go through the withdrawal symptoms?  It all sounds so scary for my sister who went cold turkey this week after taking it for almost 10 years.  I wonder if I should "demand" that she see a doctor since seizures sound pretty possible.
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I have been taking Clonazepam for years, 3 1mg a day, I have cut back to 2 a day. I wake up with a headache everymorning.
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I'm a 28 year old female and have been taking 2 mg of clonazepam for anxiety disorder (that I've suffered from all my life) along with 150 mg of Effexor for depression for almost 2 years.  Prior to this, I had been on Paxil for anxiety/depression for over 10 years.

I am hoping to get pregnant and additionally, I am just really sick of being "dependant" on medication.. I have been talking to my doctor (a psychopharmacologist) about going off the medications and so far I've begun only with clonazepam.  I usually take my medication in the morning and the clonazepam has made me ridiculously tired - another reason I need to take less and eventually none. The doctor told me to start taking the clon. at night and reduce it to 1 mg.  

Only 2 days later, I've started suffering from such unbearable withdrawal symptoms that this morning I had to take the 2 mg.. I've had horrendous nightmares that made my entire night's sleep awful - feeling like I was choking, gasping for air, having anxiety attacks in my sleep and waking up with a full on anxiety attack (and I haven't experienced anxiety attacks in years).  I also have been so emotional that I think I've spent the entire past couple days crying and depressed to the point of not wanting to leave my bed.  I have a job to go to and clients to visit and I just can't be an emotional wreck.  The anxiety is 10x worse than it was for me previously.  

Can someone give me an idea of how to safely wean myself from the clonazepam without suffering such awful side effects?  I need all the advice I can get, because I could be pregnant and need to get off of this successfully.

Thanks.
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betsypaige,
I got off clonazepam about 4 years ago under a doctors care. She had me stop taking clonazepam completely and take Phenbobarbital as needed to detox. It worked but it was scary, I had to check my pulse and sometimes it would be beating about 95 times a minute. Thats when I would take Phenobarbital and it would make the pulse rate go down. I started taking clonazepam again about 2 years later because I started getting panic attacks at night and I thought I was going to have a stroke of someting, went to emergency, they did tests, could not find anything, later I had a MRI because I thought there was something really wrong, be it was normal. They were just panic or anxiety attacks. Clonazepam really works for anxiety. But my memory is bad, very tired like you and just not with it. But if you want a baby you have to get off it and having a healthy baby would be worth it. Sorry so long, hope everything works out for you.

darlene1
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Any doctor that would tell you there are no withdraw symptoms from taking Clonazepam is not even reading a basic level description of the drug itself.  With over 25 years of experience in observing people come off of addictions, in the past five years, Clonazepam is one of the worst.  One of the more profound aspects of Clonazepam is that it is an
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I really just wish I never began taking medication - of course, it really helped with my anxiety disorder which very well could have made me a completely unfunctioning member of society.  I was able to go to college, gradute, get an amazing job, get married and continue to have a great career.  My anxiety was completey disabling prior to getting on medication.  The fact is, the 2mg of clonazepam makes me so tired, forgetful and lazy (I never want to do anything!) that it's almost not worth it (and of course wanting to get pregnant is a big reason to stop taking it).  I just want to be able to get off of it without losing my mind compeletely - and my job.  

Does anyone know if taking St. John Wort in conjunction with "weaning" off of the clonazepam slowly will help any with the symptoms?  I've decided to try this out of desparation.  

Thanks for any input!
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Betsypaige,

Please visit www.benzo.org.uk and read the Ashton Manual. You should also seriously consider joining their forum for help safely weaning from Klonopin. You'll get all the emotional support and effective information there.

Good luck and God bless.
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Hi my name is Sherry. I was on clonazapam for 8 yrs., then got into some legal trouble, spent 14 months in prison and all that time,I was out of my head with withdrawal symptoms across the board. I am also dxed as bi-polar 1 which brings it's own troubles (that is partly why I was in prison). The withdrawals from clonazapam were the worst thing I have ever experienced and it did not get any better with time. It got worse and worse to the point of me being
almost pychotic.No one understood what I was going thru ,why I was making very bad decisions, and ultimately landed me in a pychc ward, with extreme paranoia and mania. I once again started clonazapam while in the hospital and felt like a real person again.
This was in June of 2,005.Today I still take at least 2mg. a day along with all my bi-polar meds and if I am ever forced off it again, I will not survive it again. This drug altered my brain to such a degree that I truly believe I will be on it for the rest of my life.Withdrawals from this drug are simply unbearable.
I wish someone had told me in advance what I would go thru when I first began the drug in 1996. I am now addicted and other that my neurologist and pychcitrist all doctors do not want anything to do with me when I have mentioned I am on clonazapam and have been for a very long time. I feel like they helped me get addicted and then reject me when I say I am addicted. I would rather be dead than go thru the withdawals ever again. I mean that too.

Sincerely,
Sherry
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Melanie, I hope you are still off clonazepam and headed in the right direction for your future goals.

I found this site when I looked up  "clonazepam withdrawal symptoms" since I am currently in this state, originally with the idea of starting again after a week off. I have taken it for fibromyalgia pain and lack of sleep at .5 to 1.5 mg per night and when I started it had enabled me to sleep a full night for the first time in over 10 years, and when I was awake at night, my pain did not bother me so much.

Prior to starting, for years I already had some mild and transient facial and tongue numb and tingling sensations, and one possibity (I guess) is lack of sleep and the body's response to it, perhaps with muscle tightening about the head and neck. I hope your symptoms are gone, but even if not, over time, I got used to the sensations and mostly ignored them and they come and go. I even gave the numb tongue a little credit for some healthy  weight loss.

Here's what I wondered about:
The first time I quit for 5 days  and I  lost a lot of sleep, had a few anxiety sensations, felt lots of pain including headaches, and had a little burning sensation I never had before on my skin on my arms and legs. It wasn't pleasant but not a  huge problem either.

This time, I tapered for three days before stopping completely, and nothing unusual happened except  less sleep until the 2nd  night after no clonazepam, and then I began to have more transient mild burning  and hot sensations localized mostly  around and in my spine, but in other areas, too, like in my esophagus, &  stomach, with a bit of indigestion and nausea too. I have had more of this than the first withdrawal, and I do not think it is due to sleep deprivation, as I have good experience with that from the past and never this odd symptom.

I am curious about when such a symptom goes away if anyone else has had similar experience. The  are not as troublesome as intense fatigue. I am also considering staying off if I can find another way to sleep well and control pain.  



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Hello Everyone.

My name is Stephanie, I am 21 years old and I have been on 0.5mg of Clonazepam for 3 months (since November 2005). I was prescribed Clonazepam for Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Extreme Panic by my Psychiatrist. I am also on 10mg of Lexapro for Depression. My dosage is usually 0.25mg about every other day but if I have a bad day with anxiety and panic I was advised to take 0.5mg.

My reason for writing today is let everyone know that I am addicted to Clonazepam. After the drug is completely out of my system (which usually takes about 36-48 hours) I experience a sensation of "butterflies in my stomach", headaches that will not go away with over the counter medications (such as Advil, Tylenol, etc.), dizziness, a weird sensation like my brain is literally shaking and an overall sensation of "loosing control". I'm not sure if this is indeed withdrawal symptoms or just my extreme anxiety. I have talked to my Psychiatrist on several occasions about getting off of this medication. Every time I talk to her, she tells me the same thing..."Would you rather be afraid to get out of bed everyday or take a pill for the rest of your life?
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This is in relation to my posting above. I counted today and since I was prescribed Clonazepam I have taken a total of 17 - 0.5mg.

Thanks!
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I was on .5 MG of clonazepam twize daily for several years.  At the recommendation of my doctor, I reduced my dosage gradually then quit.  Three weeks later I started having headaches and dizziness which increased in severity until I couldn't stand them any longer.  My doctor put me through MRIs and blood tests and told me the headaches were NOT related to stopping clonazepam.  After seeing several specialists, I was told to return to my .5 MG regiment.  Within 3 days, my headaches had improved, but were not eliminated.  Five long months have gone by and my headaches persist - night and day.  Nothing seems to help.  One doctor even told me to increase my dosage.  I have read that headaches are both side effects of TAKING clonazepam and side effects of WITHDRAWING from the drug.  I feel caught in a catch-22 situationl.  Is there no way off the drug?
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Hello, My name is Ronnie, 32 y/o. I started Clonazepam in 1999 when I started having anxiety attacks. I was prescribed 6 mg a day but I only take .5 mg a day. I decided to reduce my dose 4 days ago to .25 mg. After three days I started feeling like I my body lost half of it's energy. Walking has becoming a burden, and I feel so tired. I haven't got the zaps yet. Thank God. I just can't believe this drug is so powerful that cutting the dose by .25 of a mg can cause so much trouble. Today I am suffering from an all day headache. I also take 20 mg of paxil a day. i've tried getting of that too but I failed on that one. The withdrawals of those 2 drugs are astronomical. I wish I never had to take them. I have never found a soothing way to ween off of clonazepam. It's a drug that venges itself for not taking it anymore. Does anyone have any ideas on how to relieve these symptoms?

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To everyone who is trying to come off Clonazepam,

My name is Natalie I have been on this drug now for 15 years, because I use to have epilepsy in which I have grown out of. I have been now trying to come off the drug Clonazepam for five years and I have gone through nearly everything that is on this page full of symptoms and experiences (I wish I found it  five years earlier).

I had the tingling of the face, terrible lucid dreams in some I felt I could not get out of, getting paranoid, thinking that I was going schizophrenic in which I ended up not being able to properly watch TV for a month, not sleeping, aches and pains over my body, swollen glands, panic attacks, sleeping too much, forgetfulness, feeling agitated and getting depression which now I am on tablets for.

Finally I have found a good doctor which forward me on to a lady who specialised in hypnotise. Since this I have been finding it easier coming off this drug, I am now two weeks totally off it and the only sidefect so far is the aches and pains over the body mainly the upper body, swollen glandes and getting a bit anxious here and there, which I find doing yoga helps.


From Natalie, QLD
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first off, we need to learn the difference between dependence and addiction.  BIG DIFFERENCE!!!!  Just because your body is physically dependent on it does not me you are "addicted" to it.  I have been on Clonazapam for about 3yrs to help with my sleep and restless legs(Fibromyalgia) It worked great for a long time, but recently had to increase to 2mgs. That helped me sleep better for a while but itn't helping again.  So, I am thinking it is time to go off and try something else.  I can't take any other sleep meds while I am on Clonazapam.  I see my Dr on Tuesday and will ask him about going off and what to do in the mean time.  Something in my meds regime isn't working for me anymore.  Blah.
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Wow, what an inspiring eye opener this forum is.

Here is my story:

I got this recent powerful strain of West Coast flu and bronchitis last Dec. 7th, 2005.

Suffering through this at first was hard but not a crisis. I am over 50 and not young enough to bounce right back but I was getting through it all even though I was weaker and sicker than with any flu that I could remember.

Then, on the third night I weakly got up to go to the bathroom and while doing so I began to pass out. I made it as far as the wooden floor hallway where I went flat down ( all 200 lbs of me- a serious blow! ) on my face and nose! Smashed it terribly and knocked myself out. Blood was everywhere, my wife screamed, my wide eyed son was so scared and holding my head trying to revive me yelling "DAD!", "DAD!".

An ambulance was called and I went to the local ER.  They diagnosed me with 102 fever, higher white blood cell count than normal and fluid in my lungs, not to mention the smashed nose which was bleeding down my face but mostly down the back of my throat so much ( my head was back on a pillow ) that with every cough from the bronchitis, bright red bloody sputum came up with each cough.

I had never felt so bad in my entire life. I actually cried.

I guess from the incredible stressful, depressing and body and spirit draining combination of this almost indescribable weakness, fever, sick feeling and coughing up from the flu and at the same scary time feeling like I had just been in a major car accident with a serious head/nose smashing injury on top of it all!

Also, I might mention that the ER did "NO" MRI on my head/nose injury( just a quick visual, pupil studying and hand squeezing exam ) which shifted my septum so far to the right that I cannot breath through this side of my nose even now 3 months later. And I think this blow also hurt my back neck and nerves from this area. And I still have weird feelings in this area off and on such as pain, bone and temple area head aches.

Anyway, after 2 to 3 hours this ER ( in a very exclusive part of California!)  said they were sending me home. SENDING ME HOME!!!??? I had never felt more like I should be in a hospital in my life! Every injured bone and instinct in my body told me I needed more continued professional observation and treatment than I could get at home for this once-in-a-life-time serious injury/illness combo!

I was shocked! But, they said the hospital was full with more serious patients ( more serious than me? Every one? Were they all in comas!!!??? ). I have since heard that they say this constantly and it's true. They don't want another hospital in our area so they can stay this way...it's about money you know?

I thought sending me home was crazy and actually unsafe, even in my half-out-of-it mental state. But, they gave me two Leviquin antibiotics which I took and sent me on my way. Sure enough, within 4 to 5 minutes into the ride home at midnight, I begged my wife to take me back to the ER, I was going out again. My wife pulled over as I did pass out and she frantically raced me back to the ER.

They kept me in ER until early morning with an IV and then put me in a big generic "recovery" room. Not private, lots of beds. Care wasn't the best. I eventually dragged myself to the bathroom later that day and I almost fainted from the shock of seeing myself in the bathroom mirror. My nose was flat and pushed way over to the right. My eyes underneath were purple. And dried blood was everywhere, even in my tousled greasy hair. I almost cried again. I did my best to clean myself up and shuffled back to bed feeling so bad. Eventually, another doctor came in later that day and said I was to go home. Again, over my meek and weak but clear protests I was condescendingly ignored.( doctors are gods in this country and you don't question them. They let you know this with "how dare you" body language and rushing out of the room with excuses if they sense you are asking them something they don't want to answer or deal with.)

Anyway, I again went home so sick and feeling so very insecure. I couldn't believe this super wealthy hospital could keep sending me home since I was so injured and sick and hadn't asked to be admitted for the last twenty years. I knew when I was too sick to be home. And this was one of those times. I had good insurance by the way. I still can't believe it.

Anyway, I set up camp again on our living room sofa. I also  kept taking the leviquin antibiotics as they instructed me to do. After two more suffering days I could feel that I was so nutritionally deprived that in the morning I tried to eat a piece of toast and within 5 minutes I felt soreness around my naval area and my whole body immediately went into incredible shock ( I mean I thought I was going to pass out and die right there! ) and even more weakness than I was already experiencing! Up to then all I was drinking was herbal tea with honey and water basically. ( They hadn't even asked me or instructed me about the proper fluids to intake at home for electrolites like GatorAde in the hospital. I found this out later in the week from an outside doctor! Just another unsafe situation when they send people home in a rush like they did me ) And now I also frighteningly knew that putting solid food in my stomach just wasn't happening. Had this virus thing gone into my GI tract? It appears so.

Within one hour of trying to desperately keep myself together and breath through this first solid-food-in-stomach attack I started to hyper-ventilate and my fingers started to tingle and I was going out . Luckily, my daughter was home ( she was so frightened also ) and she called an ambulance and again I went to this great ER. They gave me a sedative, checked my vitals and a few hours later said they didn't know what it was and sent me home!

Since this time I have had 30+ of these nightmare, entire body shocking, shaking, death-is-near attacks and I was given 5 mgs of Diazepam by a GI doctor later in this first week to help me get through them especially at the ends of these where I would start to shake. I went through 30, 5 mgs tablets of these diazepams in 50 days. I was then prescribed 30 clonazepam pills which I have taken just 3, 1 mgs tablets of in the last two weeks. Had to take one just today for another horrible attack. These attacks last for hours. Usually I can tell in the morning when I am going to get one. I feel nauseous and not right in my abdominal area and weak and shaky all over with extremely heavy and tired eyelids. So heavy I can't keep them open but I don't go to sleep.

Sure enough, these attacks always progress to the sicker than a dog - I am going to die level and then panic, shaking stage! And then I take the clonazepam or previously diazepam. These do stop the shaking and fear. I feel completely drained and even sleepy right away after I calm down within a half hour after taking these sedatives but the rest of the day is just one of complete exhaustion and blah sick feeling. Also, since this head injury and flu and bronchitis and leviquin, I have had back thigh weakness like a 90 year old man ever since, I feel shakey (shaky) walking and standing and in public and my neck in back and between the shoulders pains me 24/7.  

Also, down my arms from the shoulders and even arm pits I have constant pain ( sometimes excrutiating ) and this pain goes back and forth from just noticeable to excrutiating all day EVERY DAY! Remember, all these distressing symptoms I have been describing have been going on for almost 3 MONTHS, ever since I started taking that leviquin! And I wasn't sick like this at all while on the same job for almost 4 years and for the last 30 years plus maybe even my entire life except for pneumonia when I was 17 years old!


And what's so horror movie scary and heart wrenchingly sad is you really can't talk to anyone about this unbelievably frightening, unprecedented physical and mental health effecting, no answer experience! ( My lovely wife, bless her heart, has tried to listen to all my complaints and fears but it has taken a toll on her so much and I have been trying to keep my fears and pains to myself as much as I can.)  

It scares and depresses everyone you know to hear about this too much so you find yourself getting less and less calls from your friends, family and former co-workers. And when they do call you hide the truth from them by saying that things are "okay" or you are "hanging in there" when the truth is you have never suffered so much or been so scared in your life!  

Even the doctors start the silent treatment if you go on too much about your condition and ask too many questions. Sadly, some even start notating code words for " difficult nueurotic patient" on their diagnosis records ( Like listing an "anti-depressant" as their only advised prescription on the final part of their recommended treatment report for the real physical pain and symptoms you originally came to them for ) When they do this and another new doctor sees this it can negatively effect the new relationship immediately.

I believe I was effected like this and denied a second opinion by another local GI doctor here after he got my records from my original GI group which happens to be the only other one in this area. I had called this new doctor and he had agreed to take me on as a new patient. The day of my first visit, his nurse called and told me he was cancelling. I asked why and she said he had seen the other GI doctors report and felt that he didn't disagree with them. I said this sounded a little discriminatory to me and she said " sorry" and hung up! Since this first GI doctor I saw and his nurse kept bringing this subject up of seeing a psychiatrist, I can only wonder whether this psychiatric leaning diagnosis was inferred or actually mentioned in their medical records report and that this scared off this new doctor I was trying to get a second opinion from. So, anything mentioning psychiatric inferred diagnosis on any of your records ( especially panic attacks ) can really hurt your chances of getting deserved second opinions. So many doctors won't even take on patients who they think are complaining of these.

Finally, I also have weird pains pop up all over my chest and back spontaneously lasting for a few minutes to maybe even a half hour to an hour and GI feelings of pain and nausea and occassionally cramping off and on ( some days worse, some days not too bad ) and I only go to the bathroom every third day ( I used to go every day and occassionaly every second day )  although I do urinate a lot every day.
I also have real trouble getting to sleep and staying asleep for the first time in my life. Some nights I sleep only 1/2 an hour and on these nights I have had two of the weirdest, scariest dreams I have ever experienced. I truly thought I was going crazy after waking from these nightmare dreams! What's THAT all about?

I have seen a GI doctor and had stool samples, thyroid blood test, colonoscopy., endoscopy and blood test for amylase and Guillame Barre disease etc. ( In a CT scan they found diverticulosis and mild gastritis and two small cysts on my left kidney and a hemorhoid and a mildly enlarged prostate. Nothing to worry about they said. Peak of health! ) I have had two heart stress test ( one nuclear ) and other blood tests ( they are also currently testing me for celiac disease.)

I was told to see a psychiatrist for the first time in my life and he has me on Trazadone and wants me to start taking Lexapro any day also! )  But, after reading these stories here I am stopping and re-evaluating this whole situation. My new PCP is really psuhing me on the anti-depressants and he is the one who prescribed clonazepam, but I have gotten information on these baords that they never tell you in doctors rushed office visits.

This doctor seeems like a nice guy, however, so I am going to have to come up with a plan of medicine for recovery diplomatically on my own I feel after reading what I have read here on this board and on the other one that is recommeneded in some earlier postings. I checked that out too. I have to watch myself from getting so scared about the stories of withdrawals here that I don't over-react but my instincts are telling me not to get hooked on clonazepam for sure and I may have to come up with a plan to get out of these anti-depressants also. The trick is to do this and still feel like you can be treated and improved in a real medical way if you need this without alienating every doctor you see.

Unfortunately you have to consider doing it this way because it appears the medical community is so frozen in their methodology and logic and pursuing powerful chemical cures before more mild natural ones that they just will not face the downsides of withdrawals and damage to their patients psyches in doing so.

They want you to have quick results from your fearful medical maladies perhaps to justify their status in our society of god like healers. I have alot of thinking to do, but I can''t thank you all and this board to maybe showing me another way. I am afraid to take on the withdrawals and panic attacks without these meds these doctors are prescribing but I am going to try. Maybe I can take a tiny piece of a clonazepam when the next one hits. I am also goignt o research more about thes e new non'chemicle techniques that claim they can stop your panic attacks that are played on the radioo at night that I listen too. Like all of you, I have been forced to be courageous and to fight for my life here by fate and looking at a two way mirror. One side says they know whats best ( doctors ) and the other side says they may very well be wrong ( average non-traditionally medically trained and educated people and sufferers who have actually gone through this. I hope I am making the right decision.  Thanks for the long read,  Joe B.
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I am a college student for the first time, ( at 32! ) and I am freaking out! I have been on clonazepam for a little over a year and two weeks ago was made to go cold turkey. I took it as directed but my physician said no more! I called him a week later, the second day of my college education, and proceeded to tell him about the horrible symtoms (symptoms) I was having. As some of you have described, my ultimate worst one is the feeling in my head that I am out of control, fuzzy, almost feeling like I am having a stroke or something really, really wrong.  I was then prescribed Ativan. Well I am out of that now because the withdrawl (withdrawal) symptoms just kept getting worse and I was told there are no such thing as withdrawl (withdrawal) from clonazepam. He didn't even tell me to wean down. Just take as needed. Now I am officially done. No more. Nada. Are clonazepam and Ativan the same medication? Or is Ativan not as strong? I haven"t had the Ativan for two days and I have a horrific headache and I am beginning to get that " weird head" feeling tonight. Am I going to go through as severe withdrawl (withdrawal) as I did off the clonazepam? Please. someone tell me soon so I can prepere. What a way to start school.
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Ativan and Clonazepam are in the same family of drugs.  Visit http://www.benzo.org.uk/manual/bzsched.htm and it will tell you how they compare in strength.  I hope you're doing okay in school.  I tried cold turkey from clonazepam not knowing there would be withdrawal symptoms and on day 4 I was a blubbering idiot.  From diarhea (diarrhea), to irratability and finally extreme panic.  I went back to my 1mg at bedtime.  That was a year ago and now I'm trying to wean myself off of it.  I'm trying an every other night schedule, 1/2 mg one night, 1 mg the next night.   My sleep is not restful and it's hard to get up in the morning.  I should mention I started 25mg of Paxil CR a day a year ago and do not intend to go off of that anytime soon.  I have anxiety and panic problems.  Wish me luck getting off of clonazepam and I hope you have been successful with your challenge.
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I have been taking klonopin,0.5mg,as needed,for 2 years now....I would say,2 to 3 times a week,never went over 0.5mg,and never took 2 pills a day,I take it for anxiety.....and it helps alot when I need it.....I was scared of this medication for a while but I am not anymore........I am not worried anymore about addiction or tolerance.....and I am not planning to quit anytime soon...I've had anxiety for ever and it is not pleasant...I've been on antidepressant Lexapro,and it helped me tremendously except for the weight gain...not that much,only 5 pounds but enough to bother me..so I quit,very slowly.....thats the key,weaning off veryyyyyyyy slowly.....no withdrawals at all....and I took it twice in my life and twice quit it with no problems.....you really have to give it time to wean off from benzos and antidepressants.....it took me 3 to 4 months to wean off from lexapro.....and I was on it each time for 2 years almost.....you just have to gradually go down...with patience...so anyways I quit lexapro and stayed on klonopin as needed...I never felt the need to increase the dosage ....and was never tempted to take more and more......my sister has been taking klonopin for years too...0.5mg,once a day.....anxiety runs in my family....I dont drink alcohol,dont smoke, I workout and try to eat healthy.....and try to live my life without anxiety as much as possible....I know klonopin is a very potent drug and a very dangerous drug if you abuse it...use it but dont abuse it...this is my personal story and my personal opinion concerning klonopin.......and just wanted to share it with you.....
Micha
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I am male, 66 and I took Clonazepam for 6+ years to a max dose of 2 mg daily and I noticed two principal problems; over and above the undeniable effect of 'tolerance' - I felt that my short term memory was being affected and, to a degree, my libido had fallen off. Now these are age related phenomena of course but I decided to come off the drug and see if this had a benefit.

Don't let anybody tell you there there are minimal withdrawal effects - I relate to almost all of those described here and have experienced many of them. Apart from really bad insomnia, irrational anxiety and multiple body aches, the main effects for me were gastro-intestinal and, absolutely, bloating and cramping of the abdomen were really bad. Since this drug is an anti-spasmodic and our colon can be likened to a six foot python when in a bad humor - it isn't a huge leap of intuition to realize that withdrawal can upset the rhythm of its finely coordinated musculature, causing misery to the whole body.

The problem, sometimes, with being a doctor is that you feel you always have to know the answer - and with regard to these drugs, the answers given concerning their suitability and their long term effects and withdrawal symptoms are too often just plain wrong.

I have been off Clonazepam now for six months (I used the regimen described in www.benzo.org.uk which I greatly recommend) and my memory is noticeably improved and my libido is back. I realize that I am just a single statistic but perhaps my observations and experience will help some people here.

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How long it took you to get off of klonopin completely? and are you referring by benzo.org.about the titration method? or the ashton manual?are doing fine now?...I am on klonopin,it's been 2 years,0.5mg , one pill about 3 times a week,for inner ear problems that causes me dizziness and for anxiety and I really like it cause it helps me big time...now if I decide one day to quit..which method do you think would be the best?
Thank you
Micha
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I used a modification of the method given at http://benzo.org.uk/manual/bzcha02.htm and I think that's what you refer to as the Ashton Manual. Basically reducing the dose very very slowly over many months. Myself I didn't switch to diazepam - instead and to get accurate small doses of Clonazepam, I dissolved a tablet in water and took the correct fraction of that solution. Then I could administer 0.1 mg, 0.05 mg and even .02 mg. which was my 'exit' dose.

I did this over a period of about ten months and, as I say, I have been free of the drug for six months.  I still have the GI symptoms such as cramping and a dull diffuse abdominal pain but the benefits outweigh the disadvantages. I do regular aerobic exercise and I keep myself trim.

To be fair I should confess that I have taken Clonazepam a few times during the six month period and then I get a blissful sleep (usually) and the GI symptoms usually vanish for a day following. In these cases I have taken 0.5 mg and I am now extremely sensitive to the drug. The addiction has gone but the dependency remains to a degree - I just won't allow myself to relapse.

My doctor, a renowned sleep specialist, had told me that I would NOT experience 'tolerance' with Clonazepam. By tolerance I mean that, over time, there's a need to increase the dose and, eventually, even increasing the dose brings smaller benefits. I found this happened at 1.5 mg going to 2.0 mg and, in fact, I had very little trouble cutting back from 2.0 mg to 1.0 mg. Going to 0.5 mg was hard but getting off that 0.5 mg plateau was the hardest.

It seems you haven't experienced 'tolerance' yet, Micha, since you've maintained a steady 0.5 mg alternate days. BUT if you start to feel you need to "up" that dose, you should be concerned I think. Just because I have had this experience doesn't make me an expert but my opinion is that you should be able to taper off this drug pretty easily and whether or when to do it seems to depend on your own judgment and whether you are experiencing any effects which you can attribute to Clonazepam.
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Wow, after reading all of these postings, it is nice to know that I am not losing my mind. I'm 19 years old and have been taking colozepam for 2 years now. I face terrible withdrawl (withdrawal) symptoms when I do not take it or forget. I feel dizzy, irritated, tired, frustrated, depressed, the tips of my toes get numb. I feel like I am going crazy. I do take a mild anti-depressent. It seems to be very affective, but without colozepam, I am a wreck. I hate the fact that I am dependant on a drug, well it's more than being dependent, it is practically running my life. At 19, I KNOW I should not have to deal  with this. I do suffer from anxiety, and have since I was younger. I almost gave myself an ulcer in 7th grade. I do not sleep at night and If I forget to put the bottle of kolonzepam in my purse, I will have an anxiety attack. Although I can suffer from random attacks during any period of time for no specific reason. I guess I'm just looking for some answers. I can't live my life liek this and this drug is has consumed me. If you have any suggestions or ideas, I would greatly appreciate it. Maybe it's not just the medicine, maybe it's the way it makes me think....I'm losing control. Help, Jen
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Nice to know we're not alone, isn't it?  I got hooked on klonopin about 7 or 8 years ago after several years before that on ativan.  I was taking ativan for panic attacks that began after I went on an anti-depressant.  (One thing always leads to another!)  At some point I was having problems sleeping so my doc suggested going to the klonopin since it causes more drowsiness than ativan.  What he didn't make clear was that klonopin MUST be regularly dosed.  So I've been willy-nilly taking a pill here, two pills there, occasionally 3 for a really bad attack... for year after year and doctor after doctor... all the while my symptoms are getting worse and I'm going crazy!  Agoraphobia.. claustrophobia... intense headaches... disphoria... you name it.

I finally decided I'd had enough.  I quit my other meds earlier this year... and calmed down quite a bit.  But then I realized I didn't want to quit the klonopin.  I LIKED the klonopin.  At least I thought I did.  It's the only pill I ever pop that makes me feel better.  What I didn't understand is that I was misusing and abusing the drug... what I did know was that I was dependent on it.  So I decided to go off the klonopin as well.  Which is what brought me to this site several weeks ago.

I've been tapering off at my own pace... I'm not willing to wait 10 months for this and I'll suffer to the maximum extent possible.  After three weeks I've not had to take a pill outside my weaning regimen.  I'm down to under 0.5mg/day, from 1.5-2mg/day.  And yes... I'm feeling it.  Headaches, stomach aches, anxiety, and even a muscle cramp after jogging last week.  Fortunately, today was a good day.  I added some vitamins and supplements to my diet and that's helping a lot.  I'm also drinking lots of gatorade... and cutting most caffeine out.  So far, so good.

The remainder of my taper schedule is much more gradual... I wanted to take a big chunk out first at see how well I could handle it.  So I'm confident I can do this.  I quit smoking this past New Years' Eve and that was a definite confidence builder.  The only bright side of the klonopin tapering is I don't have to struggle with the habit portion... that was the tough part about cigarettes.

Anyway... good luck to all of us!

mark
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Heres some good advice and a question from the one and only..

Well i was directed to take a combined cocktail of drugs to control my rapid mood changes..and clonazepam was one of them(the others i dont feel i need becuz of their horrid side effects, zombie effect, weight gain, or inducing mania)..i was advised to have this drug admistered to me by a supportive loved one that i trust..and that could administer 2 -.5 mg a day. 2mg - mid-day, and .5 only when i needed for bedtime..and to not take this medication consecutively any longer than 2 weeks long...and to wean my dosage by .5 every/other day when coming to the end of an administration period...which i'd then have to take a break from the med for about a week to avoid those side effects you dont want...yeah it was really thought out to try and avoid withdrawal symptoms and addiction to this med, cuz tho they say it has low potential for addiction everyone i know who takes it is addicted...and i have a loving supportive boyfriend thatdoeosnt mind calming me down when i get too over the edge with my moods UP or down, and cares about my health as much as i should... anyway..there are some psychological side effects definitely, i have a anxiety attack when i realize my dosage is being tappered away for a considerable amount of time...AH! but...ive dealt with worse ( i used to smoke meth ages 17 - 20 and the psychological withdrawal from that kind of abuse was HARD AS HELL!) so i manage through the week with lots of exercise....almost obsessive, and i do become a tad compulsive and tidy when i take clonazepams, they make me into a functioning part of society, allowing me to work, AND attend school steadily without flipping out like i sometimes do, it gives me a great amount of focus and drive that i need to keep me from bouncing off walls, my thinking is slower and more logical in ways...my moods cycle rapidly, but with clonazepam, im cool as ice..i disgusts this kind of reactions with a guy who is dx BP1 and he agreed he attained the same side effects..funny how some people say it makes them so sleepy and tired...it mellows us out to the level we should be and lets us get to sleep at night...OH and the sleep, sleep like ive never experienced before, im completely asleep for the chosen amount of hours for myself (about 7 hrs is the least i should go before it starts to effect me mentally) when usually at night im up wandering around or busying myself, i sleep for the night and wake up 6am on time feeling good to get the day going...but anyway..on physical withdrawals, this ive never had to experience before (there are no real physical withdrawals from methamphetine) and so once, instead of weaning off the clonazepams i just stopped 2 mgs, of constant use for about 10days at the least i think it was, and i felt deep pains centralized in my right forearm and branching out down into my fingers and up my arm, while at work..and i didnt realize it was the clonazepams until i did some research on what were the actual side effects again, and i actually saw a video of a guy experiencing some severe withdrawal effects, his foot was just spasming uncontrollably for like days, he had been using clonazepams for 2 years...but he said "its okay, because this is not permanent, it will go away.." he just had to wait it out...so at work i was experiencing this pain, from 8 am to 5pm when i got home and it was constant overbearing pain...i was freaking out, my boyfriend told me to take hot shower which did calm the pain while i was in the shower...but once i got out the pain persists.. and it did that entire day...but when i woke up the next day it was gone...and thank god, cuz it was a very uncomfortable, constant, sharp, spasming...besides that...i experienced a big lump in my throat, like i was always gulping...like a burning ball stuck in my throat..is that apart of the withdrawal symptoms, cuz its persisted for 2 days now, and i stopped taking 2mg just 3 days ago...and its getting annoying..im getting a refill tommorrow, and i sometimes i just dont want to take anything that would make me feel like that..but the good side is it helps me function through my day to day life without messing up something, and keeps my mood steady and more focused, calm...but my question, is there any other alternative to taking this benzo will something else make me feel better?? st johns wort?? or do i have to take the cocktail that my doctor prescribed...but i dont want all those side effects..
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Hmmm  Interesting. I was actually googling "mild paranoia" wondering if I had other issues. I think I'm a hybrid between GAD as I worry unecessarily and also I become anxious when holding a conversation with others, thus I tend to end conversations quickly and hurry off. I think I am Social Anxiety, however. I've scheduled an appt for 10/2 and have the fear the shrink - first time visit - won't issue me any meds. I really don't like meds and have tried paxil, prozac, wellbutrin, effexor, lexepro and a doctor even put me on an antipsychotic called risperdol. I don't really care for the SSRI's and the effexor gave me tinnitus which I have to this day. Last time I took meds was 2005 until I had to get myself off. I am curious about the benzos, but am concerned as well after watching some YouTube videos on the addictive nature of them. I think, or hope, because I don't really like taking meds, I may be okay and will take only prn. I also here inderol (propranolol) usually for heart disorders, can also be helpful. What's everyone taking other than SSRI's and what's view?  
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