Steve Cooksey took his health into his own hands when he discovered he had type two diabetes. Ignoring traditional medical advice to eat grains and a low fat diet, Steve began eating a “Paleo” cave man diet. He got healthy and blogged about his success. Now, the state of North Carolina wants him to stop passing along his information and advice as he is doing so without a license.
Steve’s case is important because we in benzo withdrawal only have each other. Most in the medical community do not believe withdrawal exists, or if they believe it does, they don’t believe it can go on as long as it does. We need to be able to help each other, licensed or not. (Benzobuddies.org makes it clear that the members of the forum are not medical doctors and are solely talking about their own experience. Thank God there is a place where we can get good information.)
Most doctors are clueless as to how to get someone off the drugs safely. Many follow the traditional opiate withdrawal formula, but they don’t understand that the real problem is that receptors in the brain have been damaged and need a very long time to recover. Someone needs to be leading the way to point people stuck on benzos to the Ashton manual. I have talked to psychiatrists here in the U.S who call her “that London Kook!” It is sad that doctors discount the true voice of reason.
What do we do when the licensed medical community ignores a serious medical condition and worse, gives out inaccurate information that costs people their lives? I say we keep talking. We keep blogging. We keep insisting that the world take heed that benzos are addictive, cause brain damage, and for some, almost impossible to get off of. Not because of cravings for the drugs, but due to the brain damage and ensuing terror, psychosis, and horrific pain reducing the drug can cause. The recovery time is months and years if you are lucky enough to get off.
Personally I hope Steve wins his case. We trust big pharma and the government to do the right thing by us. Remember when doctors used to advertize cigarettes? And the government told us that they food pyramid from the 1950′s was the ticket to health? We need to wake up and take our health into our own hands like Steve did. Big pharma is about making money, not about health. (I doubt it wants the truth about benzo withdrawal to come out.)
I for one am going to keep writing about my experience and the experience of others. I took a medically prescribed pill every day for 19 years. It damaged my brain. It has cost me 21 months and counting of healing time and tens of thousands in hospital bills. There is no way to add up the cost of lost relationships, ability to work, lost creativity or the trauma I now carry from being taken off the drug abruptly. I am still recovering 13 months out.
If you are on a benzo and want off, please educate yourself. (Not everyone will have a nightmare time getting off.) If you are considering taking a benzo for whatever reason, I hope you will find an alternative means to cope with your issue. Most people will hit tolerance to the drug and need more and more. It becomes a prison that robs you of your life.
I do not coach anyone to help them get off the drug. But we need people who can do that. People with real experience and knowledge of the process, whether they are licensed or not.
We need the medical community to research withdrawal and understand it. Most of all, we need doctors to not prescribe it for more than a few days at the most, when it is absolutely necessary. We need to find ways to embrace each other so that anxiety, depression, pain etc., can be healed with love and acceptance.
I am rooting for you Steve!