Meet the Benzo Buddies Team: Pianogirl

pianogirl

My story starts with a trip to the ER for what were some dizzy, lightheaded symptoms I was having. I remember the day clearly, I had been painting our bedroom and although I had had episodes like this before, this time it was much worse. All the tests were normal and my doctor told me it was a middle ear issue and sent me to an ENT. Unfortunately the doctor was very busy and spent little time with me. He gave me a prescription for Ativan and said that the condition I had would just go away. After 6 weeks of taking Ativan I was dependent but didn’t know it, in fact I didn’t even know what a benzo was, because I’m stupid and have lived under a rock for the past 50 years. I was told to stop it, since it was a very low dose, for a vestibular wellness test, and that’s when I became very ill. Little did I know that I was going through withdrawal. My doctor said it wasn’t the Ativan because I had stopped it 2 weeks before. All the many medical tests came back normal. I was indeed anxious at this point and having so many scary symptoms, rather than keep trying the many sample meds my doctor gave me, which also made me ill, I decided to see a psychiatrist.

After being diagnosed as severely mentally ill, I was put on clonazepam and many antidepressants and other medications that my sensitive system could not tolerate. I began to feel sicker still and went for more tests and procedures. Around this time I started to research my medications, and asked my doctor many times about the safety of taking the clonazepam long term. My psychiatrist was on the right route, he just took a wrong turn. He’s stupid. He had my hormones tested as well as my thyroid because he didn’t see a psychological reason for the anxiety and other symptoms. After changing doctors once again, both my new doctor and I decided the medications were making me ill. I came across the Ashton Manual and we used it for a cross over to Valium since I was finding it difficult to taper from the clonazepam.

I found BenzoBuddies after I finished my taper and as with many here I so wish I had found it earlier. This has been the hardest thing I have ever done, but the most important. I am so much more proactive about my health and knowledgeable thanks to the people here at BenzoBuddies. They provided me a safe, kind and caring place to come whenever I needed encouragement or validation that what I felt was normal for withdrawal. This is a community of believers, believing that recovery will happen, that healing will occur, that Ashton and Colin are our gurus. Never lose sight of the goal to be benzo free, every day is a step in the right direction. I am happier than ever before even though I am not completely healed and I am so happy to be able to give back to those who have helped me so much.

2012-03-27

Untreated alblutophia unleashed!

Ablutophobia (from Latin ablutere ‘to wash off”) is the persistent, abnormal and unwarranted fear of bathing, washing, or cleaning

The symptoms of ablutophobia as well as many specific phobias are as follows:

  • Feelings of panic, dread, horror, or terror
  • Recognition that the fear goes beyond normal boundaries and the actual threat of danger
  • Reactions that are automatic and uncontrollable, practically taking over the person’s thoughts
  • Rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, trembling, and an overwhelming desire to flee the situation—all the physical reactions associated with extreme fear
  • Extreme measures taken to avoid the feared object or situation.[2]

Feelings of shame are also not uncommon. Many cultures place a heavy value on cleanliness, and refusing to bathe can make someone the target of mockery or teasing, which can increase the severity of the phobia. It may also cause the sufferer to not seek treatment.[3][4]

There are also many options for treatment of ablutophobia. Generally seeking professional help from a person with a background in psychology is one of the best options available. A sufferer of ablutophobia can also undergo exposure-based cognitive behavioral therapy in which the person is allowed to confront the feared object (in this case, water) in controlled situations.[5]

There are anxiety medications that medical professionals can prescribe as well, however these medications have yet to show much promise in the treatments of specific phobias such as ablutophobia. The use of d-cycloserine (DCS) in conjunction with exposure therapy is the only drug to show developments in alleviating the phobia-related symptoms even after a three-month period.[6]

Showers
« on: November 05, 2018, 03:26:51 pm »

[Buddie]

Why on EARTH are showers so difficult?? I HAVE to get a shower because I have to go get blood work done and I seriously DO NOT want to go in that shower, close my eyes and have to shampoo and condition my hair. I don’t understand how such a trivial daily task can become so anxiety ridden. It makes no sense.

Do people with “normal” anxiety experience this??

Re: Showers
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2018, 04:07:46 pm »

[Buddie]

I kinda think because its sneakily a bombardment of sensations. The water rushing on you is loud, and even a small degree of scrubbing and cleansing oneself is like a little workout. i just thjnk its sneakily a pretty hard assault on a variety of senses, and being that the mornings for so many of us are so hyper acutely sensitive and crappy, a shower actually blasts us into symptomatic mode.

i became aware last year that in the middle of one, just washing my hair and turning around and all, that i was fairly ramped up, and became very symptomatic in a short time. its actually an energetic little exercise for people who already can barely lift a cup without feeling it.

thats my own thoughts anyway.

Re: Showers
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2018, 06:40:01 pm »

[Buddie]

My mind tends to go a hundred miles per hour in the shower. All my thoughts become focused on withdrawal. There is nothing but you and your mind as you go through the motions of bathing. They are really rough for me too and make me very anxious and then I start getting very depressed and the intrusive thoughts start to come in. You’re not alone, FakeIt. I used to enjoy taking a shower at night every once in a while just to relax. I would prefer not to shower now.

Re: Showers
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2018, 07:19:52 pm »

[Buddie]

I love showers, it’s the only time my muscles are able to loosen up and I don’t feel any head pains.

Re: Showers
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2018, 08:26:56 pm »

[Buddie]

I get the SAME way in the showers. Sometimes it’s ok. But frequently I get panicked.

Re: Showers
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2018, 08:38:10 pm »

[Buddie]

Quote from: [Buddie] on November 05, 2018, 03:26:51 pm
I don’t understand how such a trivial daily task can become so anxiety ridden. It makes no sense.

I don’t fear taking a shower per se, but I don’t like it either. Sometimes taking a shower will rev me up and cause aversion to showering again, thus the dislike. I used to enjoy showers before, but now it’s more like a daily chore that I really don’t care for.

Read more here: https://tonic.vice.com/en_us/article/ezxwda/what-its-like-to-have-a-shower-phobia

Crazytown: “I am on 1-1.5 mg of clonazapam, hemp CBD, fish oil, and magnesium”

Trying to escape the cold dark cave named "Benzo"
« on: February 21, 2018, 04:03:08 am »

[Buddie]

Hello Friends,
I found BenzoBuddies thru hours of research online. Finding help is almost as hard as the taper, or so it seems. About 12 years ago, I was started on lorazapam(dont recall the dosage, sorry benzo brain) my family physician “helped me” when life seemed overwhelming, I had a traumatic job change, and a newborn was sick in the hospital the first week of my job. The anxiety of life and worry for my child was overwhelming… I needed a break, or so I thought. Benzo to the rescue. I still vividly remember taking that first pill. I was in the hospital with my newborn. Holding him and finally feeling relief from life, I believed I could do anything… boy if I could only have that day back…
What started out “as needed” turned into maintenance daily, along the way Paxil was added. Not knowing any better, I thought Paxil was the far more dangerous of the 2. I hated the side effects of Paxil, so I quit cold turkey. With the Benzo as my “helper” I managed life quite well I thought. But signs of the side effects started to manifest. Cognitive issues, anxiety crept back, depression, isolation, etc. So I searched for a professional with Mental health experience. I found a Psych that explained my symptoms as everyday life, that is what prescriptions are for and was prescribed a daily dose of 2mg clonazapam. This got me along for 4 years until her sudden onset of cancer left me without a Doc or therapist.
Fortunately she wrote up a report and instructions for any new physician to prescribe Clonazapam again. I found a local physician to prescribe Clonazapam 2 mg again, but my “everyday life” symptoms seemed to be getting worse. So I started dabbling in MJ/CBD for the first time in my life well into my 30’s, on the advise of the now deceased Psych. Who would do that, I thought? A church going fellow who never drank or did drugs is now willing to try illegal drugs (no offense intended, my views have changed considerably under the right direction) to get better.?
But it seemed to help get me back to myself. I was a bit surprised, I felt somewhat happy again, but now a daily user of both to manage life. This was about 1 year ago. Needless to say this wasnt sustainable and I got concerned. I approached the physician about what was going on with my head, but all I could get was I needed to get of the Benzo. No support of how or where to turn for help. Merely its time to stop, I needed to get off the Benzo. So I was given 3 months, 3 prescription of 45 1 mg pills, 1.5 a day. In doing research preparing for what was to come, I was horrified at what I found, I realized all along the “everday life” symptoms were actually Benzo side effects. Fear like Ive never felt set in, but I convinced myself I could do it. So with the help of MJ/CBD I was able to taper to .5 mg/day in 2 months with what I thought were minor side effects. Not as bad as what everyone says… But I too reliant on MJ/CBD and my asthma was not happy with vaping. So I began to wean off MJ/CBD.
And Hell hit me with a fury like I cant describe, I thought it was from the MJ/CBD withdrawals but soon realized it was minor compared to the Benzo sudden taper. Thinking MJ/CBD could be reintroduced in moderation to help. I found what worked in the past, now made my withdrawal magnified. What helped before now just added paranoia to the growing list of issues. So here I am no physician, half of the last prescription left. Full withdrawal mode. Broken down and hurting, fearing Ill lose my job as the lone provider and ruin my family. All consumed anxiety I wont have the will power to take on the challenge that lays before me. I am on 1-1.5 mg of clonazapam, hemp CBD, fish oil, and magnesium. I dont have a taper schedule, but reading the forum I realize I need to create one.
And just to add another dynamic into the mix, my insurance provider changed, so I need to explain all this to a new doctor who will accept my new insurance plan. Thank you Benzo board for hearing my story. I hope to one day be an asset to the community, but right now I need your help. Prayers are welcome and needed.