Caveat Emptor. Buyer beware. It’s good advice for anyone; it’s especially good for someone in benzo withdrawal. With the medical community’s head-in-the-sand stance on benzos, those of us who have lived through withdrawal are the ones leading the way in benzo education. There is a myriad of websites and social media groups dedicated to benzo withdrawal recovery. It’s good that there is a growing body of knowledge about benzo withdrawal. However, if you are in benzo withdrawal, it is a good idea to not take every piece of advice as “fact” and to do your own research. If someone said something has helped them, find out more details. Please listen to other’s advice or suggestions (including mine!) with a grain of salt. I remember when I was early off via a cold turkey with pheno, I shared with others that it was an acceptable path to take. It wasn’t. But I wasn’t far enough out to understand just how much real damage the cold turkey did to my brain/CNS. Now I would never recommend a cold turkey with pheno unless it was absolutely the last resort to get benzo free. I’d warn that the many months and years after the cold turkey are most likely going to be hell on earth. Mine sure were!

photo-1461950209984-1ce1f03a1be9Please research any medication your (most likely benzo uneducated) doctor wants you to take. Gabapentin, Lyrica, anti-depressants, anti-psychotics, even mood stabilizers, and hormones can make us worse. Plus, many of the meds have their own nasty withdrawal syndrome. Be careful of over the counter drugs. Be careful with vitamins and supplements. Even those that are supposed to be calming can make us worse. Kava, valerian, even chamomile can rev up our symptoms as they work on GABA receptors. Magnesium, vitamin D, and vitamin B, have been known to set us back while in benzo withdrawal. Caffeine and alcohol are to be avoided, too. Neurofeedback, hypnosis, acupuncture, and EFT, although wonderful therapies, don’t totally resolve our benzo withdrawal symptoms. Neither does cognitive behavioral therapy, or, traditional talk therapy. Many holistic doctors prescribe vitamins or herbs, and even though they are natural, they can make us worse.

Please do your research, especially if someone is suggesting a procedure that has the possibility of permanent damage. Benzo withdrawal, although horrific, is temporary. Don’t throw out the baby with the bath. Don’t risk harm that could last forever, for a bit of relief today. I know it’s tempting. But it’s not worth it. I cringe when I hear people now advocating ECT (electroconvulsive therapy) for benzo withdrawal, for example! (I wouldn’t risk permanent brain damage, but that’s just me.)

In my very humble opinion, the best way to navigate benzo withdrawal is with acceptance, patience, faith in your Creator, family and friends, and things that you engage your hands and your mind as distractions. I know it can be a horrific path, and we often trudge it alone. But there is recovery at the end of it. Don’t give up hope. And please, whatever you do, don’t compound the damage from benzos with the negative reactions of a medication, therapy, vitamin, supplement, or a procedure like ECT that can damage you for the rest of your life.