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You are in cold turkey withdrawal and this can have drastic side effects. Seizures are not uncommon. Valium has a long half life, thus the reason you didn't feel it until Sunday. What you are feeling are typical withdrawal symptoms and this is only the beginning. It can get nasty.

If you are going to do this on your own you need a low systematic taper. Please do a search for the Ashton Method of Withdrawing from Benzodiazapines.

I just tapered off of Ativan that I took for 18 mos. I took 1mg which is equal to 10mgs of Valium. It took me 17 mos to taper off of it.

I strongly suggest to get back on your regular dose and seek some professional help for this or keep searching the net for information on benzos and how to withdraw safely and comfortably.. There is a ton of information and help for you. Unfortunately I can't give you the web sites here.

Please keep in touch.
Crap - not what I wanted to hear, but I'm very thankful for the advice Featherweight. Only 10:30 and I'm already freaking out - usually don't feel this way until much later in the day. That's why I posted...I had a feeling that this might just be the beginning of something bound to get worse. I just took a half dose and am about to read the Ashton Method right now.

I guess I shouldn't worry about the drug testing - they'll either test for that or they won't. Kind of stinks because I really wanted to start looking to change careers.

How long have you been off the Ativan? How are you doing now that you're off?

Will let you know how it goes - thanks again.
Hi Barrel

I have only been off the Ativan for 7 weeks.

I started taking it to help with the anxiety and residual dizziness from an inner ear infection. It worked beautifully and I felt WONDERFUL on it. But, fast forward 18 mos and I started to feel despressed, apathetic had major brain fog, memory loss and when I missed a dose I felt sick, dizzy, and shaky.
I finally realized that my symptoms went away quickly after taking my Ativan. Decided I didn't want to go about the rest of my life in a fog. Also realized through reading that I was feeling interdose withdrawal and to correct this I would only need more....interesstly, 3 Dr's suggested I stay on Ativan for life, I am 64. They told me my dose was really low and it was helping some long standing GAD I had and wasn't addressing.

I searched the net and found support for getting off. I did a water taper directly off Ativan which can be more difficult since it is a short acting drug. The best water taper is directly off Valium which you are on already.

In reading the material you will see that you'll need to stabilize again on your 10 mgs and then begin a taper from that dose in order to help eliminate severe WD symptoms. Taking 1/2 your dose isn't going to help much. that is too drastic a reduction, in my opinion. You'll also learn that many people can discontinue these drugs with no outward effects at all. Everyone is different.

Right now at 7 weeks off, my depresseion and apathy are completely gone. I don't feel any anxiety amd I am sleeping well most nights. I have developed some irritating eye symtpoms though. My eyes feel numb and get a strange feeling in my head that I call "bobble head". Sort of unbalanced and dizzy. I am extremely sensitive to noise. These symptoms may also be residual from my inner ear problem. The good thing, though, is that the symptoms are intermittent. Tropical storm Ernesto is approaching so maybe the humidity and barametric pressure is bothering me....

You have been a good decision to quit benzos. Don't know your age but you'll be so free when you quit. It may take some time for you to feel 100% but hang in there. Remember any symptoms you get are only symptoms. Nothing is actually happening to you. Keep searching the net for a benzo recovery group and join in the interaction and message boards.

Hopefully others will jump in here as well. Please keep in touch

Feel well......:wave:
Hi Barrel,

WOW, we are very similar in our backgrounds, except for age of course..;) I, too, suffer from varying degress of ADD and OCD.
Have you ever considered taking an SSRI? I tried Lexapro for about 4 weeks but found it too sedating during the day and at the same time I was experiencing "electric shocks" throught my neck and head. It was very disturbing. I guess you have to experiment with different drugs to see which one works for you but I decided I would like to finish out the rest of my life as drug free as possible. I will say however, I have a friend on Zoloft for about 5 years now and she feels absolutely wonderful on it.....Also, have a male friend that had a very severe case of depression this year and is responding very well. Don't know what he is taking. I know these drugs have a place in society but also understand they are altering brain chemicals as well. Catch 22.....I have limited knowledge of herbal and vitamin therapy so somewhat recluctant to try any of that....
The rain is here and I am still feeling quite icky in the head. Actually thought, briefly, about taking some Ativan to see if the sensation goes away. I figured then I would know for sure if this is a protracted WD symptom. On the other hand, it may relieve the feelings simply because it is a depressant. From my reading on the benzo boards, I am pretty confident that this is my body healing itself and coming alive....just hope it doesn't come too alive and knock me on my feet!
What's really interesting to me is learning that some people are coming off these drugs now after having been on them for 30-40 years! WOW, at 64 I'd even take a chance for a good, calm, dizzy free 10-15 years! I actually would not be opposed to taking a low dose if only I knew I wouldn't have to increase it over the years. My Dr. feels that since I am 64 my metabolism is slower than those taking benzos in their 20's and 30's and because of this you don't get the "need" to increase the drug as readily. Does this make sense to you? How long have you been on Valium?

Hope you are feeling better today. Have you made a decision on how you plan to taper? How did the job interview go? Also, do they test for benzos when you interview? Thought it may just be for the stronger recreational ones.

Have a great weekend...
Hello Feather,

I just finished reading the C. Heather Ashton info. Amazing! I didn't realize that I was such a mess. I took another half [5 mg] this AM and feel great. I can't believe how quickly I lost the feelings of paranoia, depression, racing mind, etc.

I'm going to stick with this for about a month [if I can] before I cut more. I think I'll try to do 1 mg every other week at that point. I'm going to add some supplements I read about, most of which are in the Whey Protein and the Casein Protein shakes I drink every day. From what I read on another site, that seems to help alleviate the symptoms. Speaking of symptoms, you were right in your advice: "Remember any symptoms you get are only symptoms. Nothing is actually happening to you." It was so hard to see them as just symptoms, when you don't know what's going on inside your head. From just talking/writing to someone [you] and the reading, I now have such an understanding of what's going on with the neurotransmitters, that I am convinced a lot of what I was going through last week were my owns fears and anxieties amplifying the withdrawal effects; although right now, it could just be that I needed to get back on the valium.

I did try Lexapro about 3 years ago and felt the same way - exhausted. It's odd because I don't feel tired on the 10 mg V. but the Lexapro knocked me out. From what I read, some people take 30-40+ mg of V. per day, so I guess I am the REAL featherweight :). My mom is taking Zoloft and it seems to help her and a friend of mine was taking Paxil for a year. He had just had a baby and was "freaking out". His Dr. weaned him off after a year and he is doing great now. As for me, when I get through this, I'm done with these meds...hopefully

I too was blown away that some people have been on the Benzos for decades! That really also helped to put things in perspective for me, as I have only been on them for two years.

Icky head: It might just be the rain and if you didn't already, I would say not to take an Ativan "just to see". You've come a long way to come off of that med. and if the feeling is not too bad, maybe try to stick it out. Remember, "don't go backwards" :nono:. My friend said that, even with his Dr. tapering him off of a low dose of the Paxil for a year, he still had a funky, tingling feeling for a few weeks after the last dose. I understand what your Dr. is saying about your metabolism and it makes sense; however, I can see your point too about taking the low dose. I can't wait to get off this stuff, but wonder if I can.

Unfortunately, we might both need low doses of something :(.

Thanks for asking about the interview - it went well. Here's the ironic's for a pharmaceutical sales position :D . The next step is one more interview and then, if we come to an agreement, they do a background/drug screening. Can't ask them what they test for so I contacted the testing center and tried to anonymously squeeze info from them - got nothing. Another friend who has a pharmacy in his house [all prescribed] said that he's had a lot of these test and they have never picked up on his Klonopin, Aterol, or the multitude of other meds. he's been on. I do think that they are looking just for recreational drugs but, with a pharma., I think they may be more thorough. Worst case scenario is that I fail and am stuck selling mutual funds and insurance the rest of my life :yawn:. More important to wean of off this - no job is that important.

You have a great weekend as well. Please let me know how things go for you during your storm [both of them].


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