Are Supplements Good Or Bad?

The topic of supplementation can cause quite a heated debate in the benzo community. Some feel that their tapers and/or their recovery period off benzos were greatly helped by certain supplements. Others feel passionate about strict supplementation avoidance because supplements made them so much worse. So which viewpoint is correct? They both are.

First, let me be honest and say I’m in the avoidance camp. Almost every supplement I took backfired on me. Some backfired in really big ways. So I operate under the condition known as “once bitten, twice shy.” But my experience isn’t everyone’s experience, and I respect that.

Do Your Research

A reasonable approach to taking supplements is to first do your research. Does the supplement work on GABA receptors? Have others in the benzo community been adversely affected by taking it?  If so, you may want to avoid it. Or, at least avoid long-term use. The thinking in the benzo community is that the GABA receptors need to rest from being manipulated so that they can recover from the benzo damage. Supplements such as Valerian, Kava, Chamomile, Kavinace, Phenibut, and CBD, to name a few, work on GABA. People who take these, especially on an ongoing basis, might report that they help withdrawal symptoms, but might find it difficult to stop taking them. We have to be aware that what helps now may present a challenge down the road. Or, maybe not. That’s the challenge with supplements. We don’t always know the outcome from taking them. We don’t know 100% if they hamper healing, or not.

Diagnosed With A Deficiency

Some people have been diagnosed with vitamin decencies. Their doctor wants them to supplement. But taking some of the more common vitamins/minerals such as B, D and magnesium can rev some people up. (That was my experience.) One way we can attempt to supplement is to taper up slowly to the dose our doctors suggest. Some have been successful with this strategy.

No One Size Fits All

Just as Withdrawal symptoms are unique to every person experiencing them, so too are the reactions to supplements. It’s up to every individual to decide if taking a supplement is worth the short and/or long-term risks. And we in the community do well to share information regarding our experiences with supplements but to avoid forcing our viewpoints on each other, creating fear and resentments. Of course, it’s understandable why some people get upset with others who choose a supplement that they feel was responsible for their setback, or wave. It makes sense that the person wants to warn others. But again, all we can do is share our experiences and avoid rupturing our relationships with others who don’t take to heart what we’ve shared. Equally, it can be frustrating when someone feels that a supplement was the magic wand for their recovery. They want others to jump on board with it and may get upset when they don’t.

Walk Our Own Paths

In a nut-shell, everyone going through withdrawal has to find their own way. All we can do is share information and let everyone decide what’s best for them, and not create bad feelings should someone decide to walk a path different than our own.

I’ve been honest about my path. I avoid supplements. But if you choose to take something that the benzo community has experienced as making symptoms worse, or possibly hampering healing, I’m not here to judge you. We’ve got to stick together and get through this with the help of each other’s support. Judgment and condemnation don’t belong in our community. Love and acceptance do.