Benzos Fail to Prevent, May Increase PTSD


In a review of the evidence regarding benzodiazepines, researchers from the University of Michigan find that benzodiazepines used in the treatment of PTSD are associated with withdrawal symptoms and more severe symptoms after discontinuation, and may interfere with patients’ efforts to integrate trauma experiences. The article recommends that benzo use should be short-term for most indications, and includes some recommendations for tapering. The article appears in the April issue of Current Psychiatry.

Article → 


Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.


Mad in America has made some changes to the commenting process. You no longer need to login or create an account on our site to comment. The only information needed is your name, email and comment text. Comments made with an account prior to this change will remain visible on the site.

Previous articleArmy Surgeon General’s Office Warns Against Benzodiazepines and Antipsychotics
Next articleQuestions About Childhood Trauma And Schizophrenia Settled
Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].


  1. Though this article points out that benzos are not helpful for PTSD or “OCD,” the article falsely claims they are safe and effective for many other uses such are alcohol withdrawal, which is patently false since benzos like Xanax epecially are like booze in a pill causing harmful addiction in themselves including blackouts.

    The article also claims that SSRI’s have replaced benzos for PTSD with the implication SSRI’s are safe and effective while benzos are not. This is a fraudulent claim.

    Are the spinners of truth already trying to do damage control about the army’s rejection of benzos and neuroleptics for PTSD in another article posted here?

    That’s why many articles exposing the harmful effects of all these toxic psych drugs are constantly needed for a “reality check” to be prepared for the latest BIG PHARMA backed spin to keep the “science of doubt” going to keep such poisons on the market with robust sales just like the tobacco industry.

    Report comment

  2. Benzodiazepines can prevent some of the life threatening aspects of alcohol withdrawal such as seizures and delirium tremens. They can be given in a setting in which they are tapered and discontinued after about 5-6 days, thus preventing addiction to a new substance.

    Report comment