Most psychiatrists, PCPs, functional medicine doctors, naturopaths, neurologists, internists, etc., are ignorant about benzo withdrawal. They haven’t been taught the dangers of benzodiazepines or the damage they can cause. If you seek medical help for benzo withdrawal, your doctor may tell you that there is no such thing as benzo withdrawal or that benzo withdrawal only lasts a few days or weeks. They may diagnose you with a new psychiatric disorder or a worsening of your pre-existing condition and prescribe pills or treatments that can harm you.

Before you see a doctor, educate yourself about benzo withdrawal. A few of the critical basic facts:

  •  Benzo withdrawal is real. You are not making it up. You are not psychosomatic. 
  • Benzo withdrawal has a laundry list of possible symptoms that have been well-documented for decades.
  • Withdrawal symptoms can wax and wane for months or years. The drug is out of the body, but the body takes time to recover from the damage the drug caused. 
  • Tapering should be done slowly, with no more than 10% of the current dose. An opioid tapering schedule is usually too fast for benzo withdrawal.
  • Rehabs and detox centers taper people far too quickly and often prescribe more harmful drugs. 
  • Benzo withdrawal symptoms are not a worsening of a pre-existing condition or new illnesses or disorders.
  • Drugs to treat insomnia, pain, and intrusive thoughts. etc., may cause harm
  • No treatment has been shown to cure benzo withdrawal, including IV flumazenil. 
  • Traditional talk therapy and exposure therapy can make symptoms worse.
  • CBT may not help benzo withdrawal symptoms
  • Supplements and vitamins can rev up withdrawal symptoms.
  • The only way out of benzo withdrawal is through. 
  • The four cornerstones of well-being, eat right (WFPB), move enough, stress less, love well can stack the cards in your favor to heal more quickly.

Here are some suggestions to avoid doctor bullying:

  • Neutrally explain your symptoms. Don’t insist that they are caused by benzo withdrawal.
  • If your doctor is ignorant about benzo withdrawal, ignore their harmful opinions or advice. Please don’t argue with them. 
  • Don’t rev up your nervous system by trying to educate a doctor who isn’t open to the truth.
  • Only visit a doctor when it is essential.

You need a doctor to prescribe your benzo while you are tapering. Since there are no treatments to cure withdrawal, you only need to see a doctor to rule out any other causes of your symptoms. Remember, there is no way out of benzo withdrawal except through. No drug or treatment cures withdrawal, and most can rev up symptoms or have their own withdrawal syndrome. A doctor who isn’t benzo-wise may bully you and try to make you feel that you are attention-seeking, crazy, or stupid. (I wish this weren’t the case; however, I’ve been in the benzo community almost twelve years, and the stories I’ve heard about doctors are heartbreaking.) Avoid treatments or medications known in the benzo community to cause more harm than good. 

If you’d like education and support as you navigate benzo withdrawal, please feel free to book a coaching session with me or join my live support group, Mornings With Jenn. We meet at 9 a.m Pacific every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. If you can’t join us live, you can watch the recorded video. There are hundreds of archived videos to give you tools, comfort, and hope.