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Clonazepam - tapering off - 90 days in. One year after it was prescribed for anxiety.
  1. #1
    fallingfast is offline New Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2013

    Default Clonazepam - tapering off - 90 days in. One year after it was prescribed for anxiety.

    Hello, I found this website by accident, while searching for information about clonazepam. Initially, clonazepam was prescribed for me by my therapist to treat anxiety. I was taking Xanax on a as needed basis. During an anxiety attack, I would take one pill to calm my nerves. This worked fine for me. But, I was also taking one Xanax pill at night to help me fall asleep. I was having a tendency to lay there for hours trying to fall asleep, but I could not. I would have thoughts about everything going on in my life, and I could not quiet my head. It seemed like a good idea at the time. However, the Xanax was wearing off about 4 hours into my sleep and I would wake up, unable to fall back to sleep again. I reported this to my therapist, who reported it to my PCP. I was coming in for a refill for Xanax when I was told that my medication was being changed. This alarmed me. I had taken clonazepam in the past (shortly after my husband died, and at the same time of his death I was diagnosed with a terminal disease). After weeks of taking clonazepam my doctor refused to refill the medication. I was forced into a detox. This detox occurred on the very day I packed up everything I owned and put my house in storage. I brought my birds to the humane society. And I was forced to live out of my car with my dog. My income was gone. I had lost my job 10 months prior. And now that my husband was dead, I had very little money left. So, detox it was. This was a horrible experience. I suffered hours of tremors. A friend held me in their arms the first night. The next day we went to a park that allowed camping. I stayed in this camping area for 90 days. I was starting to get a cold I thought. My nose ran constantly. I was sick. I had a toothache too. My jaw and neck were swollen. The infection in my tooth was spreading. My sinuses ached. One day after raining for one week straight, I woke up and could not breathe. I went to the ER. I had pneumonia. I got my Rx and moved my camp back to the ocean. The only physician I was seeing was a specialist for my primary health problem. My Rx came to me in the mail for my primary health issue. I was praying all the time now for safety, water and food. I prayed about housing. I didn't like this pressure. I finally found a doctor taking new patients. I made an appointment and saw the new doctor. He prescribed Xanax for my anxiety. I took Xanax at night to help me sleep. I occasionally took it during an anxiety attack. It seemed to really help. I got another tooth infection. The doctor prescribed pain meds. I think he gave me Tramadol. It didn't help. He prescribed Meloxicam. That didn't help. I was diagnosed with Arthritis. It was painful to walk. I had trouble lifting anything heavy. I often fell. I saw a dentist and had another tooth pulled. They prescribed Vicodin. This worked with my arthritis, but not my teeth. I was losing my teeth really quickly. My PCP refilled the pain meds and Xanax. My insurance started to kick back the pain meds. It was a problem filling it. But I usually got the prior authorization to go through. Then one day my doctor just moved away. I found another PCP. This PCP switched me to Oxycodone because it had no acetaminophen. My PCP required me to seek behavioral health at their clinic. I was pushed to apply for housing. I was being pushed about every thing. The therapist was digging into all my business. Always asking questions that I was unprepared to talk about. I applied for housing thru a homeless outreach program. I had already put my application in for HUD in 2008. That waiting list was long for HUD. I am still waiting for it to go thru. The homeless outreach approved my application. I met the criteria based on my age, and health. This was the beginning of my anxiety nightmare. I was moved into housing and immediately did not sleep. Too many sounds, neighbors fighting, cars coming and going all night. There was activity all the time. I brought my things from storage. I cried for a week when I opened the box with my husband's ashes. All the photos of us together hurt to look at. I found all the paperwork on my daughter. This really upset me. I read through some of it and saw that my husband and I were scheduled to get her back. His death, my illness and my unstable housing were all factors in why she was in a guardianship. The pressure from living in housing increased my anxiety. I followed a budget and dreaded the day all the bills were due. I was grateful to have an apartment, but so much responsibility was hard. I made a budget. I stuck to it. It seemed like all was well. The homeless program was discharging people out of their units. Fights broke out as people were forced to leave. This was very disruptive. People were angry at me because I got to stay housed. My health declined. I was sick all the time. Just when I would get over one illness another would set in. The landlord came by and made a scene over some plants on the railing outside. That was really scary. He had no respect for me. He wanted inside my unit and I let him in. He raved about how he hated the toilet. He said I needed a new one. He said it used too much water in the tank. He accused me of causing a sink in another unit of falling off the wall. I was perplexed. Some days later three used toilets and a sink were out in the walkway. The landlord was replacing multiple toilets and remodeling in several units at the same time. The landlord accused me again of causing damage to other units I had never even entered. I became fearful of this landlord. The men working on units came to my unit to replace my toilet. They pulled the toilet out and there was black mold all behind and under the toilet. I knew what that was. It is very bad for me. The people above me coughed all night long. I could see why I was sick. The men cut into the wall and found a leak in the wall. They replaced piping inside the wall. There was black mold everywhere in the wall going up and under the bathroom sink. It was in the floorboards. The floorboards sagged and the bathroom door would not shut. The men put a new toilet on top of the mold. They cut the floor and exposed layers of flooring. Six layers of linoleum were there. It was so bad to smell it. I got really sick. Then without warning the landlord put a letter on my door saying I had to move out immediately. He refused to renew my lease. My anxiety was very high. I found another apartment and quickly moved. This was very stressful. Not long after moving I got a call from CPS. The police found my daughter in a culvert under a road in Oklahoma. She had been beaten, raped and abused for years by her guardians. This was heartbreaking. I cried for days. My anxiety peaked. After a short visit to see my daughter I was told she had to remain in Oklahoma for the trial on the rape. Later CPS said she couldn't leave because she was unstable and needed special services. My therapist changed my anxiety medicine to clonazepam. Now I knew that clonazepam was a dangerous drug. But I had no idea how bad it really was. It has been one year of taking the clonazepam. My symptoms are worse. I can't eat, no sleep, tired all the time, agitated, nightmares when I drift off to sleep, migraines that never stop. I went on-line to check out this drug and found these are all side effects of clonazepam. I decided to talk to someone about this problem drug. My past therapist who took on my case shortly after my husband death recommended tapering. I started tapering. Immediately I had panic attacks one after another. They grew more and more intense. I went back on full dose. The panic stopped, but the side effects grew worse. Then the panic attacks returned even on full doses. This was terrible. I was in hell. My tongue swelled up and I had trouble talking. I had to try tapering again. This time I cut the pills in half and took one half per day. My headache lessened. I spoke to my therapist about my condition. The therapist said it was my imagination. That I was delusional. I was believing what I was being told. I thought my therapist must know the truth. I went on-line and stumbled across I was relieved to see there were tons of people suffering just what I was experiencing. My tapering would have worked the first time if I had stuck it out. I saw people tapering to 1/4 doses. They were all suffering the same symptoms I was. I am now 90 days out from 1/2 doses. Two days ago I took 1/4 and felt much better. I am now losing most of the side effects slowly. I am not experiencing any panic attacks yet. I slept for 8 hours last night. That's a first in a very long time. I feel slightly disoriented. My appetite is returning slowly. I am eating oranges, ensure and oatmeal with fruit. I am drinking green tea and lots of water. My nightmares have suddenly stopped. This is huge. My relief I believe is on the horizon. Every minute I am feeling a little bit better. Writing this out has helped me understand where I am at. I am angry that I was put back on clonazepam for so long and in such high doses. I will talk to my therapist very soon about this. Today is a new beginning for me. I am excited that I am feeling better. This is very encouraging to me. I will check in tomorrow.
    Last edited by Anonymous; 10-31-2013 at 12:21 AM.

  2. #2
    Faded time is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2013


    You have really been through the ringer. The first landlord may have been trying to find reasons to evict tenants who were on rent regulation. That way they can re-rent the apartment to someone who can pay more.

    Drugs act differently in each individual. I've been on klonopin (clonazepam) for years with no problems, yet valium made me jittery. Be careful surfing the web. Anyone can put information down regardless of whether what they say is true or not. Usually you wind up finding conflicting information depending on what site you are looking at. Also, not everyone is going to have every side effect listed. Benzodiazepenes can become a problem if you are one of the people who form tolerance to the point of withdrawl while still taking the drug.

    Bottom line, tell your therapist what works and what is giving you problems. Don't be shy about it.

    I'm very sorry about your daughter. Child services are overwhelmed with too little staff and bound by laws that are not always in the best interest of the child. I hope that she will be well treated no. Even if she is in a different state than you, try keeping in contact through letters or telephone calls. It seems like a little thing, but to a child away from a parent, having something to hang onto tells them that their parent's or parent care and are thinking of them. I hope your child is receiving therapy for the rape and abuse.

    I'm glad things seem to be looking up for you. To go through what you have takes a strong person. You probably don't feel strong at the moment, but m.
    any people in your situation would have given up. You didn't and kept pushing forward. Keep moving in that direction.
    Faded time
    flotsam22 likes this.

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