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Old 12-01-2017, 11:25 PM   #1
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Question Tips for getting off clonazepam?

So Iím currently on clonazepam (0.5 mg twice a day) and zoloft (150 mg) and have been since mid July. Before that I was on xanax for several months. Iím really wanting to get off the clonazepam, which my psychiatrist supports, but I was just curious about how other people dealt with weaning off and if anyone had tips on how to deal with anxiety in other ways once off? Iíve learned a lot of tools to help myself deal with anxiety and feel confident going off will be beneficial for me, but thereís still a little nagging voice in the back of my mind that once Iím off Iíll go back to how things used to be (daily panic attacks, not able to leave my house or speak to anyone, not sleeping, etc all which exacerbated my depression.) I feel ready, but this is a new situation, and like all new situations for me, I prefer going in not totally blind. So any advice, resources, tips, etc about getting off clonazepam would be greatly appreciated!

(I really hope this post isnít repetitive, I did search the forums for anything related to this, but didnít find anything. If I missed it pls let me know!)
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Old 12-04-2017, 04:35 PM   #2
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I'm sorry I can't really give you anything in the way of definitive advice on this. I took clonazepam for a short time when I was in the midst of a severe increase in the level of my tinnitus. I don't recall how long I was on it. But it wasn't a long time. I don't recall having any issues at all with going off of it. But I've also gone off various other psych med's in the past... sometimes with my doctor's support... sometimes not... I do seem to be a person who is able to go off of psych med's without experiencing any particularly difficult effects. I'm no longer on anything at all.

Anxiety is something I've struggled with... more so lately. The things that are helpful for me are keeping busy, maintaining a more-or-less daily yoga / exercise program, & taking our dog out on his daily walks. Also, when I listen to music, it's quiet & soothing. I don't watch the news on TV & I avoid watching violent TV programs, movies, etc. I also typically try to make sure I'm off of my laptop by 8 pm. I've read that the light from computers & smart phones tricks the brain into thinking it's daytime thus making it more difficult to get to sleep.

My personal opinion is we don't realize how much damage we in advertently do to ourselves when we expose ourselves to all of the noise & violence that constitutes what most of the media consists of nowadays. A while back I watched a series of programs on our local public television station titled "The Brain with David Eagleman". Eagleman is a neuroscientist. And in one of the programs in the series, Eagleman mentions that when we watch a violent scene on TV or in a movie, for example, while consciously we may understand it is fiction, non-conscious areas of our brains, to which we have no conscious access, react as if the violence were actually happening. To me, at least, the implications of that are clear. Anyway... these are my thoughts with regard to your post.
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Old 12-07-2017, 04:46 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Skeezyks View Post
I'm sorry I can't really give you anything in the way of definitive advice on this. I took clonazepam for a short time when I was in the midst of a severe increase in the level of my tinnitus. I don't recall how long I was on it. But it wasn't a long time. I don't recall having any issues at all with going off of it. But I've also gone off various other psych med's in the past... sometimes with my doctor's support... sometimes not... I do seem to be a person who is able to go off of psych med's without experiencing any particularly difficult effects. I'm no longer on anything at all.

Anxiety is something I've struggled with... more so lately. The things that are helpful for me are keeping busy, maintaining a more-or-less daily yoga / exercise program, & taking our dog out on his daily walks. Also, when I listen to music, it's quiet & soothing. I don't watch the news on TV & I avoid watching violent TV programs, movies, etc. I also typically try to make sure I'm off of my laptop by 8 pm. I've read that the light from computers & smart phones tricks the brain into thinking it's daytime thus making it more difficult to get to sleep.

My personal opinion is we don't realize how much damage we in advertently do to ourselves when we expose ourselves to all of the noise & violence that constitutes what most of the media consists of nowadays. A while back I watched a series of programs on our local public television station titled "The Brain with David Eagleman". Eagleman is a neuroscientist. And in one of the programs in the series, Eagleman mentions that when we watch a violent scene on TV or in a movie, for example, while consciously we may understand it is fiction, non-conscious areas of our brains, to which we have no conscious access, react as if the violence were actually happening. To me, at least, the implications of that are clear. Anyway... these are my thoughts with regard to your post.
Thank you for such a insightful reply! I think what you said about violence in media is very true, especially for people who are highly empathetic (like me!) I feel, for me at least, this also applies to other things in media besides violence. Itís not something Iíve really thought of, but I have noticed that I do get very emotional and have intense reactions to things in movies, shows, books, etc.

I also love the mention of having a routine. Something I valued back in high school, despite how overworked I was, was having a routine. Iím going to be working on getting a routine going, especially now that I got a job with regular hours.

I know you said you canít give definitive advice, but I feel like the insight in your reply was something I very much needed now at this point in my life and i appreciate it! truly, what you said (especially about violence in media! iím definitely going to look up David Eagleman and do a little research!) really resonated with.
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Old 12-10-2017, 10:09 AM   #4
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Benzodiazepine withdrawal can be deadly....you definitely need medical supervision weaning off clonazepam.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy, including mindfulness, helps with my anxiety disorders.
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Old 12-10-2017, 11:29 AM   #5
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I would think at such a low dose it would be easy to stop. I know at 2mg of xanax a day it was easy for me to stop in the past. If your afraid of panic attacks keep some and only use as needed. Sometimes just having a xanax in my pocket is enough to fend of a panic attack. Best of luck.
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Old 12-11-2017, 08:35 AM   #6
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glamslam, for your chronic pain, may I ask what you are taking? My husband has a long list of neck and back problems like yours, no one will give him the hydrocodone that was helping and not even tramadol. He hurts to bad. He is going to have both back surgery and neck surgery, but right now, he is barely making it through each day. Thanks.
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Old 05-16-2018, 05:11 PM   #7
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It is different for everyone. I was on 3-7 mg a day for 8 years. And just stopped about a 8 months ago. All my anxiety, pain, muscle meds gone. Just blood pressure meds now.

I did have some tension headaches, trouble sleeping, but that was it.

Side note - I was on your same dose briefly(or said I was), the taper they gave me was;

.5mg daily for 4 days
.25 mg daily for 3 days
Discontinue

No withdrawal probs that time.

To your point, your biggest concern is the anxiety that will come back. Life is stressful and full of conflict.

I made myself so afraid that something horrible was going to happen to me or my family. And my response was to push every limit, to risk everything including my life. Until something happened that scared me enough to step back. In a corny way I was literally ďscared straight.Ē

The stuff that terrified me became what it always had been; unrealistic thinking that I let get out of control.

Sorry didnít mean to get off track. One last point,

Using a benzo in conjunction with an ssri or snri, is typically an adjunct medication to bridge the gap between starting the antidepressant and it taking effect in the body. Once this happens, the need for the benzo should noticeably diminish.

If you are stil feeling major anxiety symptoms you should tell your doc. Donít let a desire to get off a med set you up for a struggle.

Is there any reason you couldnít go back to the Xanax as needed while you confirm that the Zoloft is high enough? Youíll know you are in a good place when you forget to put that Xanax in your pocket every morning or realize you havenít taken it in a couple days.

I just get this vibe that you are quitting because you ďwant to be off itĒ, rather than quitting because you donít need it/it doesnít help you.
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Old 05-16-2018, 05:58 PM   #8
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Default Re: Tips for getting off clonazepam?

I never had any problems getting off any benzo over the last 35 years. Only meds I ever had problems withdrawing from were paxil and effexor.
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Old 05-16-2018, 06:15 PM   #9
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I just recently completed the process of coming of benzodiazepines. First let me say you really have to want to do this. I did it because I was unwilling to increase my dose any further to get relief I weaned of of daily ativan(lorazepam). I did it with a diazepam taper. You cannot do this fast....The slower the better actually. It was pretty painless, but not without its tough moments. I also found using propanolol helpful for panic symptoms. I brushed up on my coping skills. Diaphragmatic breathing was my go to skill. I also found lots of singing helpful because it forces you to breathe( my Alexa was great for this!). I now take a benzodiazepine at a low dose no more than three times a week-long like 0.5 mg of lorazepam. I am okay about thinking if I really need to take one now. If I feel one coming on or am in a stressful situation it's breathe or sing!

I have found that Dame Heather Ashton's material helpful. I found it easier to use the benzo.uk.org easier than listening to her videos on YouTube

Over the last month's I have been working on get to get of Ambien which was 20mg at the start. I was on that does for years. This also involved another benzo taper with diazepam for a short while. If you are interested see my thread on "Getting off Ambien" I am down to the last 5 mg. Appointment with pdoc on Friday to strategize on the last bit of it.If you think I can be of more help please feel free to PM me.

Best of luck! I wish you success!!
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Old 05-16-2018, 06:30 PM   #10
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I never had any problems getting off any benzo over the last 35 years. Only meds I ever had problems withdrawing from were paxil and effexor.
Thatís so interesting. Itís interesting what different drugs people have a had time getting off. I have never had trouble with benzos either, but wow did opiates give me hell when I was younger. Then suddenly at 30 I said Iím sick of docs and Walgreens, and canned the oxy.

I read this interesting article about how child abuse and neglect causes developmental issues at The mu and kappa opiate receptors. This could explain the major correlation between childhood abuse and opiate abuse.
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