4 Freedom: I believe you. Thank you for speaking up on this topic. I have taken benzos for most of my adult life. I am older, too– early 60s– and I’ve had an immune disorder since I was a teenager, but I don’t consider myself ‘small,’ and I hope you don’t think of yourself that way, either. Your voice is important. My life is big. Daily, low-dose benzodiazepenes and low dose opiates, the former started 20 years ago and the latter started 15 years ago, have helped me manage the wild fluctuations my body goes through. I do not know anyone else my age who has my disorder and who still can work a 40-hour week, mountain bike, and bodyboard. I was a black diamond skier, too, until the pandemic. My stamina has never been great, but I did my best sports, my biggest shows, and my best work within the last 5 years. Before these drugs, I was stuck in a dead-end job. The two least-popular and most reviled drugs in modern history also helped me quit drinking, quit smoking cannabis, and quit smoking cigarettes, all of which, in my opinion, were far more debilitating to physical and mental health. Like you, I’ve never had any legal trouble and have been a productive member of society for all of my life. Angela, I’ve been hearing this line about dying from seizures coming off of benzos since I was in clinical training. I’m sure it must happen, but I’ve never actually seen this. When I hear people in AA talk about seizures from benzos, they were generally drinking to wild excess at the same time, which of course is terribly dangerous. I tell my patients what I’m supposed to tell them– consult your doctor, don’t go off benzos cold-turkey, and of course I know that some people must have this issue. But when people ignore my advice? What I hear is, “Yeah, I was pretty wound up for a couple of days, but that was it.” I know there must be some people who have terrible problems with them, but I just can’t believe the numbers are what this documentary (linked above) says they are. There is obviously a population which experiences the symptoms they describe– the narrators and experts aren’t terribly convincing, but I don’t think they’re lying– I just strongly suspect what I’ve seen in my own practice: Comorbid factors. And very significant ones. In contrast, I hear about the devastating effects of SSRIs EVERY WEEK in my practice– not just withdrawal, but initiation and dosage change, just as Healy, Whittaker and so many others have warned. There’s literally no comparison; of course SSRIs and SNRIs are far more dangerous. It’s absurd to even mention them in the same breath. When people right about SSRIs on this forum, I don’t hear anyone saying, “Gee, SSRIs saved my life, what’s the matter with you people?” In my personal and professional life, I know ONE GUY who says this. Everyone else either says, “maybe it works, maybe it doesn’t” or “My God, what is that terrible crap, I took it for three days and they were the worst days of my life” or they complain about the side effects and withdrawal. A lot of folks taking SSRIs make little progress in therapy because they can’t experience emotions normally. These are drugs that alter consciousness profoundly 24-hour-a-day. Sure, you can die from benzo withdrawal– but usually only if you are drinking and/or using LARGE amounts of opiates or other CNS depressants at the same time. You generally won’t hang yourself in the damn garage, where your spouse will find you as soon as they come home from work, if you’re taking benzos. You probably won’t take an AR-15 and shoot up a school, either. You usually won’t be chemically castrated from benzos, or lose the ability to feel pleasure, either– though you are at significant risk of having all those things happen to you if you are unfortunate enough to be prescribed SSRIs and SNRIs. Of course it is ‘advocacy’ that is making it nearly impossible for people like 4Freedom to get their prescriptions refilled. So come on, let’s get real. Of course SSRIs are more dangerous than benzos. There’s no comparison.