Comments by Merry Citoli

Showing 14 of 14 comments.

  • Hi Marion,

    I have a non-profit in the U.S. that was founded to help people that are coming off these meds and for those who are in recovery. I had a difficult journey (and still am to some degree) with these drugs, and I would be interested in getting further information about the necessary steps needed to put together a petition like this for here in the U.S. Would you be willing to chat with me about this? You can see more about our organization at:

    Your help would be greatly appreciated. There are many very sick people with no support or help that we work with and many who have already given up because they feel so hopeless.

    Thank you for all your efforts!

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  • Uprising….I’m sorry this happened to you as well. On several of my many ER visits I kept asking the doctors if it was the lorazepam. They said if you’re tapering slowly, it shouldn’t give me any problems.

    I don’t know when these doctors are going to believe their patients when they tell them something is wrong. I for one won’t be asking their advice any longer.

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  • I don’t think there is ever a case where a benzodiazepine should be a long term solution to anything! In fact, the research that Robert Whitaker has uncovered shows that the majority of patients treated long term with any psychiatric medication did not do as well as the patients that were not treated with meds. Anytime you mess with the brain chemistry, you’re asking for trouble in the long run.

    I wish like hell I had found a good yoga instructor back then that could have taught me good coping skills and how to deal with stress. My life would have looked very different. I regret the day I ever walked into that hospital.

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  • ….and why do you suppose no one else that I lived with in Costa Rica got sick…at all! I was the only one on a benzo. My idea for settling this argument is, have every person who sells or prescribes this stuff go on a fairly good dose for six months. Put them in a small studio apartment by themselves, give them $714.00 a month to live on and then take them off the drug. Let’s see how well they do.
    Is anyone in????

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  • There are a few good doctors out there and you were very fortunate to find one of them. I wish I had been so fortunate. However, there have been great blessings that have come out of this ordeal. After a long period of anger toward the medical community, I have learned through spiritual practice to embrace what is, and move on as gracefully as I can by finding a seed of hope that there is a reason for everything that happens to us.
    Best of luck with your menopause issues. It can be daunting for sure.

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  • Hi Alex,

    Yes that is me. No worries about you not responding to your post, but I would love to hear from you as we do appear to have much in common.
    Thank you for your kind words about my music. I keep showing up every day for yoga and meditation. I have gained great faith through this experience and hope to return to the studio when this whole ordeal is over.


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  • I was not necessarily letting all physicians off the hook. I do know some who really do care. The doctor through our program is an amazing man and went through Alcohol and benzo c/t withdrawal himself. He lost everything at 65. He help me so much and I could never have done this without him. He rebuilt his life and now helps other with their tapers. He is now 84 and still doing heart surgery. He is my inspiration. I have learned that pointing the finger at all is not the solution, but I am hoping that the many, many other stories we hear through the program will gain enough power for these other doctors to sit up and take notice.

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  • There is no better therapist to commune with than yoga and my connection to source. We are moving so fast in this society that we don’t take time for the important things of the soul which in the end, is all there is.

    Talk therapy for me was the worst thing that ever happened to me. You just keep reinforcing the traumas. It make works for some people, but as someone who has been to one therapist after the other, I found myself just ruminating more over all of the “bad things” that happened to me.

    I have not seen a doctor or therapist in over two years and feel more content and at peace than I ever have, removing myself from this medical and mental health system.

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  • Angelique, I had the same anger about my situation, and found the anger only made me worse. Once I let go and surrender to the situation….things have gradually gotten better. Still a lot of ups and downs due to other health issues. Getting angry doesn’t change the fact that you are still going to have to go through this. I found that out the hard way.

    Now, I am still having a lot of difficulties with my health due to bad medical advice, but once I stayed focus on my goal of recovery, and look for the good things in my life; things are VERY slowly improving. I am sorry for your pain and do understand from the depths of my soul.

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  • When you are in a state of shock and having heart palpitations, and anxiety so bad you haven’t slept in days…… become psychotic. We put our lives in the hands of people that are suppose to know what they hell they are doling out when we are incapable of making decisions of any kind. I was in very bad shape. Not exactly cognizant tobe reading labels. In fact, there were no labels to read. I was in a hospital when they first gave it to me.

    I have had so many friends with the same experience. There is some product liability here.

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  • Angelique, we all understand the pain you are suffering through. One thing you can do for yourself, and others going through this is to visit this site, and share your story. It could help get a class action lawsuit going against the pharmaceutical companies for non disclosure on these drugs.

    Here is the link, and Brian Baxter’s story:

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  • Hi Alex,

    Thank you for your very hopeful and positive post. I found it refreshing from all the fear based information I have read online.

    Like you I am also recovering from multiple traumas, the worst of all from debilitating anxiety brought on by peri-menopause. I was bordering on psychosis from weeks of no sleep because the heart palpitations and anxiety were so bad. This happens to many women at menopause and it is so misunderstood. Before that I had never even taken aspirin for many years. I was athletic all of my life and ate very healthy. There is much mis information about women’s health and the hormone imbalances that can create a serious host of problems for women at this stage of life.

    I got so bad that I had to check myself into a psychiatric hospital and they immediately put me on lorazepam. It worked like a charm and I spent three days in the hospital sleeping for the first time in over a month. Like most people here I was never informed of how addictive this stuff was and they just continued to prescribe it for me. I did not even know I was addicted to it for a long time as it continued to work for me even though they did have to raise the dose a couple of times.

    Then finally I got a nurse practitioner that knew more about the drug and informed me that if I decided to come off the drug not to do it cold turkey. When I asked why she told me it could be very dangerous. despite being on it for years, I never had any serious side effects from it other than it made me tired all the time. She then put me on a supplement called Kavinace that helps boost your GABA receptors and when I got through menopause and things settled down I researched the Ashton Method and began a very slow taper. I was able to work through the whole thing and by the time I got down below 20 mg of diazepam I noticed how much my energy was returning. I had not felt that good in years.

    Then in 2010 a pharmacist screwed up on my testosterone prescription (I was taking Bio Identical Hormones which in low doses worked wonders for me). I was severely overdosed for ten months before they discovered it. All of my anxiety and heart palpitations plus insomnia returned with a vengeance this time. I went almost three years with little to no sleep, and had to go back up on my dose of lorazepam. This time I went up to a much higher dose, but it was not working because of the severe endocrine disruption.

    My story gets more bizarre from that point, but the short of it is I have not been able to work in over three years. I was extremely weak from the testosterone as it over drove my adrenals glands so bad. I would collapse from the smallest amounts of stress……and saw countless specialists attempting to get my hormone balance back. After finally getting the anxiety and back under control with going back on the Kavinace and taking a very slow paced lifestyle, I have had periods where I have been able to do some forms of activity that I was unable to do over a year ago. I am sleeping much better, but now suffering from debilitating fatigue and depression. I have gone from 100 mg of Diazepam to 26 mg since last spring. It is hard to tell how many of my symptoms are being caused from the benzos and how much if from the hormone imbalance, but for sure it has been a lonely ride as it has for many of you on here as my friends do not understand and I have no real support other than a very good counselor that comes out to my place.

    Like Alex, I have spent a great deal of time re-inventing my life with yoga and meditation. I am hoping to afford acupuncture once I am further along in my recovery. I also moved into a quiet place and spend a lot of time on my artist endeavors, such as music and writing magazine articles about women’s health in hopes of educating other women about the horrors of what can happen with this stuff if you are not well informed.

    I also try to swim, as it helps with the depression and I eat a very clean diet.

    I don’t know if we are allowed to share other contact information here, but Alex….I would sure like to be able to share some resources with you if you are willing. I think we have some very similar stories that parallel one another in our wake up call about the system and family betrayals. I am fortunate to have a doctor that got into drug rehab because of his own cold turkey withdrawal off of benzos and alcohol. He was in his sixties at the time and is now 81. He recovered his life and is now back doing heart surgery. He has truly been an inspiration. He introduced me to a very brilliant compounding pharmacist that is very knowledgeable about balancing women’s hormones and benzo withdrawal. I get a liquid compound of the diazepam so I can opt to slow down the withdrawal and pace myself. Slow and steady wins the race.

    You can reach me at firehawkproductions(at)yahoo

    Wishing you all the best. There are many of us that are going through this very difficult life altering experience.

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