Comments by 3littlecats

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  • I resent the implication that those of us who have been prescribed benzodiazepines knew that they were addictive. I was a sheltered, 21-year-old, Mormon girl when I was first prescribed clonazepam. I didn’t know the first thing about benzodiazepines, let alone that they were addictive. I didn’t know anyone who used them. My only mistake was trusting a doctor. When I tapered off clonazepam, I had horrific symptoms. I lived in a state of constant terror, with repellent intrusive thoughts. I had to start taking it again. Now, years later, I’m slowly tapering off valium. I hope to God it’s not as bad as quitting clonazepam. But I can’t live in benzo-induced stupor anymore, so I’m taking that chance. If I’d known what I was getting into, I wouldn’t have taken clonazepam in the first place. Sure, it helped the anxiety at first, but at what cost?

  • I was diagnosed with bipolar II disorder by a family physician with little experience in psychiatry. I told her that no antidepressant helped me and she said if the antidepressants weren’t working, I must be bipolar. She put me on lithium which made me absolutely sick. Then I went to see an actual psychiatrist, but I couldn’t shed the bipolar label and they kept giving me horrible mood stabilizers and antipsychotics that made me ill. I’m on a small dose of abilify now, 10 mg. That’s a low enough dose that I don’t feel sick.
    I never had hypomanic episodes until I went off lithium and then after I went off of each successive mood stabilizer and antipsychotic. After a few rounds of that, I started having hypomanic episodes for no apparent reason.
    But I have discovered a cure for my hypomania. Nine milligrams of melatonin at bedtime gets rid of it every time. It seems to me that because lack of sleep brings on mania, the melatonin system must be involved in bipolar disorder some how. It could simply be that the melatonin puts me to sleep, and the sleep itself cures the hypomania.
    Anyway, I hope someone else can benefit from my discovery that melatonin will eliminate a hypomanic episode. It should be noted that my hypomania has never been severe and this may not help someone who has full-blown mania or more severe hypomania than I have.

  • Thanks for sharing your experience, Robert. I thought I was the only one.

    I’ve been on a comparatively small dose of clonazepam (0.5 mg to 1 mg depending on how anxious I am) for years. I tapered off it for a while a few years ago and had a horrible experience with protracted withdrawal. Like you, I was afraid of everything for months. And I had an obsessive-compulsive preoccupation with death. I would see skulls and dead bodies dancing in front of my eyes night and day. I couldn’t sleep. And I was certain I was going insane.

    I wasn’t as strong as you. I went back on the clonazepam as soon as my doctor offered it. Now I’m trying to go off it again and I’m scared.