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Life after Xanax - How long til you feel "normal?"

After taking Xanax for 2 years and now stopping cold turkey, how long til I feel "normal?"  How long til I have a clear head and an able body? Everything still hurts right now and I'm thinking half cleary after 10 full days but  it seems to be taking SOOOOOO long,
18 Responses
672514 tn?1265658741
if you have been on xanax 2 yrs. your dr. must of warned you about stopping cold turkey, THats a big NEVER EVER DO! CALL your DR> NOW! this is not a question of this forum this is a question for your DOCTOR!
Avatar universal
I called my doctor last Tuesday morning after having what we believed to be a seizure on Monday evening. My doctor sent me for an EEG on Friday and I see him this Friday for the results. I'm sure if it were something important they would have called to have me come in before that.
I knew there were going to be withdrawal symptoms, especially since I stopped Vicodin, Xanax and Adderall all at once but I'm just wondering how long it takes before you're clear headed and feeling normal after Xanax?
358304 tn?1409713092
dang! stopping cold turkey! 2 years!? youve gone 10 days!? wow! good for you!!!
672514 tn?1265658741
I am glad you are doing better, you did not mention you talked to your DR after you stopped and you also now state you had a seizure,  I must add in case someone else would read this. PLEASE PLEASE DO  NOT ATTEMPT TO GO OFF ANY DRUG WITHOUT CONSULTING YOUR DOCTOR, this situation, turned out good,BUT THIS IS THE EXCEPTION and weaming off would of made withdrawl easier.
Avatar universal
Can I ask how much you were taking a day? I've heard differing opinions on tapering/ Although I went cold turkey off Wellbutrin recently and didn't have a seizure it was by no means a pleasant experience! Best of look to you, stay strong!
Avatar universal
Camparing Wellbutrin to Xanax is like comparing water to acid.
308787 tn?1201684948
I agree with silverberg, god I dont know how you have tolarated cold turkey? Ive been on ativan for 30years and to go cold turkey well I couldent do it,
good luck
take care and please get the help you need.
Avatar universal
Abby, I wasn't comparing Xanax to Wellbutrin, just asking about  livinghell614's experience with quitting Xanax cold turkey. I have been on and off it for many years, so has my mother and we've heard the horror stories about quitting cold turkey. My boyfriend has been using it for 2 years and wants to go cold turkey but even going from 2 mg a day to 1/2-1 mg a day has him climbing the walls and feeling sick. Same goes for me, after taking 2-3mg a day for the last couple of years trying to cut down to less 1/2-1 & 1/2 a day has my hair standing on end and me waking up with nearly full blown panic attacks. I didn't seem to have too miserable of an experience dropping the Wellbutrin although I had been strongly advised against it so I am always interested in hearing other peoples experience with going cold turkey. I also quit a meth addiction of about 6 years cold turkey many years ago without any kind of tapering, detox program, meds, etc. and seemed to do fine to all of my doctors amazement. I figure if people post on here there is no harm in asking a question.
Avatar universal
I hate Xanax, I can't believe most people are never aware of how addictive they are, and how horrible the withdrawals are. My body is shot, I'm in constant pain and the mental withdrawals are horrible too. This is after a one year tapper and my last dose was Oct 29, 2008. I did cold turkey many times, after insanity insued I would take a little dose to keep the w/d's at bay. It has been torture.

Based on what you are saying, I am assuming  that the meth addiction was much eaiser than xanax to come off of. I was curious about that.
Avatar universal
Yes abby10, oddly enough it seems like every street drug I have tried was far easier to walk away from than Xanax. I knew growing up how addictive it was because I witnessed it through my mom so I never relied on it, until the last couple of years. When I started taking Wellbutrin it really seemed necessary because the Wellbutrin wound me up even more than I usually was, but it really helped my depression. Add a serious problem with alcohol to the mix, and I was becoming a mess. I quit the Wellbutrin a few months ago and the drinking and smoking (tobacco and majiuana) a month ago, but I don't know how I'm going to go about getting off of Xanax. I thought about switching to another benzo that is longer acting like klonopin or maybe trying librium, but I'm not sure. I met someone who had major problems with Xanax and she was put on Klonopin and said she was doing okay, but she was bi-polar and on a variety of meds so I'd like to hear more from other people. I was in the psych ward last month when I OD'ed on a variety of meds (my fourth and final suicide attempt, it's why I quit drinking) and there was a woman in there who must have been close to 70 who had just gotten off the Xanax roller coaster after 22 years, but I didn't get to talk to her much. It scared me, no doubt. I warned my boyfriend. He began taking it 4 months before we got into a relationship thinking it was more recreational that it obviously is and got hooked quick. I think he has serious problems with depression and anxiety (today is the 10 year anniversary of losing his little brother to a rare blood disorder) so we are both struggling and appreciate any advice or input we can get. Thanks for sharing abby10, this drug is a beast and I truly wish you the best!
Avatar universal
Yes, I drank alcohol and took the benzo's. I didn't take a pill with the drink but I took the 8mg a day not really thinking about it staying in my system when I drank. I lost someone closer to me than anybody in the world and tried suicide several times after I drank.  I have now found out that xanax and alcohol are notorious for suicide attempts and deaths. Benzo's act on the same brain receptors as alcohol, when I tried to stop drinking I kept taking xanax and then I would drink again.

While in the pshy ward they just gave more xanax. I got help no where. A detox tried to withdrawal me in 9 days. NOT....... Benzo's take longer to come off of than any known drug. I swear I didn't know they were even addictive. I thought the anti anxiety drugs were the one's to stay away from.

There is a wonderful web site all about the benzo's, benzo.org.uk it will help you tapper and it explains why and how to use klonopin and valium to tapper. Several other forums with people suffering from benzo addictions and people who have succeded and how good there life is without benzo's. One site is ************.org

Let me know if I can help any further.


Avatar universal
I'm sorry to hear about your loss and personal struggles. I am grateful that you are here with us to shed light on this difficult subject for myself and others. Thanks for the websites. I got a chance to look at the benzo.org.uk for a few minutes and it looks like there is a lot of information on there! I am certainly going to spend some more time checking it out because I'm kind of on my own when it comes to dealing with my psychiatrist. He lets me dictate my treatment to an extent which is good in the sense that I don't feel like anything is being pushed on me, but on the other hand it puts the ball in my court to figure out what is best for me. I always say about myself and my mom that "I'm not a doctor, but I play one on t.v." because it's kind of odd that we are the ones doing all of the research and coming up with our own treatment plans. I think valium would be my next choice after xanax. I just started taking 5-HTP this week (which I had really good results with years ago) because I also have depression and problems sleeping along with the generalized anxiety. That website also mentioned GABA which is what I took for a couple of weeks while I was going off of the Wellbutrin and it really seemed to help so I am going to look into that more as another possible supplement to help with the long tapering/withdrawal process from the xanax. Thanks again for the information, every bit helps. I hope you are doing well and I'll be sending positive thoughts your way!
Avatar universal
it started for me, twelve years ago regular,taking four to six, two milligram yellow bars a day,tried to quit cold turkey,started bitteing my tongue had to sleep with a wash rag in my mouth,all started with severe panic atacks, pray for me,
Avatar universal
God bless you and anyone who suffers with this horrible addiction!! I too was addicted afters years of taking this poison. I quit cold turkey almost 1 year ago. I was very lucky to never have a seizure. I would never recommend this method to anyone. It is much better to taper over a very long period of time. I have suffered soooo much. I didn't work for 9 months. I really didn't live for 9 months.  I'm just starting to really believe that I will be normal again. Please know that your bad days will get less and your good days will be more. You will have a lot of set backs but keep moving forward even when you don't think you can. I am sleeping fairly well now and the anxiety and depression improve too. There is no cure except mother nature and father time. God bless!!
Avatar universal
I have been taking xanax 1 a day 0.5 for 2 years, i recently stopped for a weeka nd went back on and did not experience any withdrawls, I want to stop taking them but i'm scared of having withdrawls, since i stopped after a week would it be safe to say I would probably not have any withdraws if stopped completely?
Avatar universal
I used Xanax from age 18 to about 30, a 12 year addiction, taking at least 4 milligrams a day.  If someone out there is wondering how long it will take to feel normal again after stopping Xanax, then I can help answer that.  Approaching age 30, I could no longer afford to pay for my psychiatrist visits, therefore had to stop getting my Xanax scripts, and was forced into stopping the drug.  It was a very hard 2 years to go through!  It was hard to go out shopping and even go to restaurants, or even drive.  It felt like I would never be normal again!  I felt nervous around people, and seemed like I wouldn't make it many times.  A lot of prayer and journaling seemed to be part of what got me through.  Slowly though, I began to want to get involved in my own life, and there were small victories along the way...and those are what you hold on to...to stay strong!  Those small victories are small though, an example would be spending a day shopping with my mom and not being nervous around her, that was a good day in a day of Xanax recovery.  There are bad days too though full of tears and hopelessness.  So part of what you're fighting for when quitting this drug, is to regain possession of HOPE!  So after 2 years of suffering through this difficult battle, I now have hope and a future!  It's not an easy fight, it's the opposite, quite hard!  The thing to remember is it's worth every bit of it!  To have your life back, to hear your own conscience again, these are valuable possessions!  I now know my calling and am working on my bachelors in psychology to become a drug counselor.  So the points here, its hard to beat Xanax, it took me 2 years to start enjoying my life again, its more worth it than words could ever express! To date, quitting Xanax is what I consider to be the biggest accomplishment of my life!
I'm going through it now. It's very very hard. I just feel so out of it and my face feels funny all the time. It's been 8 months since I last took a xanax
I have no idea where those digits came from but yeah I'm 8 months in and it's very very hard. I just hope and pray I feel normal again some day
Do you remember the types of symptoms you had during the two years?
I see this a really old post. I don't know if you'll even see my comment. But I was on here searching for an answer. I was on xanax for 12 years. I was SLOWLY taken off of it, because my doctor was retiring and didn't want me left high and dry. I've been completely off xanax now for about 9 months. I have constant anxiety. I'm uncomfortable and physically and mentally almost all the time. I feel very uninterested in anything, including making changes to better my life. I have no desire to socialize. I'm extremely lonely because I've withdrawn from everyone, friends and family. I try very hard to focus on anything other than my anxiety but it's usually to no avail. I've gained 20 pounds, I've lost all ambition I feel. I keep thinking that this has to give and at some point, I will start to feel better.... I've tried watching television, going to church, conversation with people, new hobbies, ANYTHING to get my mind off of the anxiety... But nothing helps. I have 3 small children and I want my life back. Is there anything you can suggest, aside from trying to get back on xanax, that might help? I have the number to a new doctor and I'm trying really hard not to call him. But I feel like it's my only hope at feeling okay again.
You should have put this in a new post to get more answers.  It seems that the benzo worked for you -- is that right?  And you went off of it just because your doc retired knowing you were addicted to it anyway and so any bad things that happen to us because of long-term benzo use had already happened to you.  Right again?  Why didn't you just get another doctor, or even better, a psychiatrist to continue what appears to have been working for you?  Now that you're off the benzo, though, did you ever try antidepressants or therapy?  Benzos are a temporary fix, but antidepressants, if they work, work all the time.  Therapy, if it works, cures you.
Avatar universal
Yes I'm 4-1/2 years into getting off f
Avatar universal
Never go off of Xanax cold turkey. It can cause seizures...as well as migraines, stomach issues, and all over pain and a feeling of sickness and sweats. Talk to your Pharmacist and/or doctor. Be safe.
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