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#458080 - 01/06/14 08:20 AM Coming off klonopin
SoccerStar Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 916
Loc: New York
After a year on klonopin, and feeling quite improved the last several months, I've just slowly weaned myself off. My psychiatrist warned me when I started that he didn't want me on for more than 3-4 months because it's addictive; I really didn't like the sound of that, but I was on a low-ish dose (1 per day) so as time went on and we kept agreeing to keep me on it he kept saying it wasn't that bad.

Been about 4 days since my last dose.

I can't help but notice that I feel conspicuously anxious in the 1-2 hours following the time that would normally have been my dose. More disappointingly I am finding it difficult to fall asleep at night, even when very tired. It takes probably 90 minutes, and of course all that time lying in the dark and quiet is a great way to get your mind on annoying or unhelpful thought tracks :p One of the accelerating factors of my nervous breakdown in 2012 was a total inability to sleep, and I still remember the defectiveness and humiliation I felt when it looked like my ability to sleep like a normal man had been taken from me by the perp and I could only do it by being drugged.

Has anybody ever come off this stuff and had GOOD outcomes in terms of restoring stable sleep patterns? Thanks....


Matt

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"Don't think it hasn't been a little slice of heaven just because it hasn't!" --Bugs Bunny

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#458152 - 01/07/14 08:17 AM Re: Coming off klonopin [Re: SoccerStar]
SoccerStar Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 916
Loc: New York
Welp, that didn't last long.

Psych said that if I didn't feel mostly or entirely better after 3 days post-weaning that I should go back on. The last 2 days in particular I've been edgy, dizzy, and my heart rate was up, sometimes accompanied by chest pain (I looked it up and this is typical of withdrawal). I found myself actually craving the pill, which I didn't know was possible. Then I was.... inwardly in NEED of a drink, something to calm me down. I haven't felt that way in a long long time. I had one beer (strong, 9.5%abv) and felt vastly better... and knowing I was self-medicating made me feel worse.

Sunday night I got maybe 3 hours sleep; last night I either got 1 or none. Just like during my breakdown, I was COMPLETELY WIDE AWAKE at 11:30pm, energized and not tired and actually feeling kind of good. That was the setup for me nearly losing everything in 2012. I can never, ever feel that way again.

So as of this morning I'm back on.

I feel sad and weak, like an addict. Recovery should be goal-oriented and one if my goals was to go unmedicated when I was ready. Looks like I'm not ready, and there's a chance I might never be. Maybe I should have stopped taking the klonopin months ago, but I wasn't ready: my new job didn't stabilize until July, and then September / October always tears me apart. And now it's been a year and here I am.

It's no great hardship and I know people who have stayed on klono or other anxiety meds for years. I just never thought I'd be one of them.


Matt
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"Don't think it hasn't been a little slice of heaven just because it hasn't!" --Bugs Bunny

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#458230 - 01/08/14 07:35 AM Re: Coming off klonopin [Re: SoccerStar]
Suwanee Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/30/12
Posts: 735
Loc: Southeast USA
Matt,

Although my experience is not quite an analogue to yours, I have a long history of taking ADHD meds. I was on Ritalin from middle school on through high school for a condition many claim doesn't exist. In my case it certainly does exist---and I'm helped by medication not as a party pill or study drug, but a "keep me focused on the task" drug. That said, once out of college, I felt I should stop taking them and learn to manage life's twists and turns without pharmacological assistance.

I had mixed results.

After acknowledging the CSA, I surveyed my life and its stressors and found I wasn't dealing with it very well. My T agreed and quickly detected the unchecked ADHD traits that were interfering with any kind of CSA recovery. Reluctantly, I began taking ADHD meds once again. Admittedly, the meds do help keep me in balance.

No, I don't necessarily want to take them indefinitely, but I DO want to get to a place where I can back off and eventually stop the meds. Being circumspect about medication has led me to think that perhaps there's an "ideal" time to stop medication (as your own T originally suggested). Consider also that there is likely an "optimal" time to stop medication. They are semantic siblings, but they mean very different things.

I'm confident you'll instinctively know when the optimal time arrives.

Will


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#458273 - 01/08/14 10:56 PM Re: Coming off klonopin [Re: SoccerStar]
SoccerStar Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 916
Loc: New York
Thank you, Will.

I can grasp that people can face chemical emotional hurdles that last, effectively, for life. My best friend has had ADHD for at least 18 years and is still on Ritalin. I've had multiple struggles with anxiety and depression and went a 3-year stretch on antidepressants. But when I was ready to leave them behind, I weaned off real slow and it worked. I tried weaning off the klono even slower now and it kicked my ass. The insomnia from 2012 returning so quickly and exactly was the scariest part - like it's now the real me. I just can't deal with that again.

Everything I've read and heard is that my other med (Wellbutrin) is non-addictive, that getting off that antidepressant should be as textbook as getting off my last one. Maybe later in the spring, as long as I'm still feeling strong, I'll make that my goal instead.
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#458360 - 01/09/14 05:00 PM Re: Coming off klonopin [Re: SoccerStar]
don64 Online   content
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 721
Loc: St. Croix, USVI
Hi Matt,

I'm in my 60's and have spent and continue to spend a lot of time managing symptoms. I have also unwittingly sabotaged myself a few times over the years wanting to not take medications. So, for me, it's one of those 'it's the journey not the destination' numbers. I only began to remember sexual abuse, physical abuse and torture from my mother 9 months ago. I didn't know that was even there in my late 30's to mid 40's when I was on a lot of meds for depression, panic and anxiety. I do not like to take meds. However, it's taken me decades to understand that my feelings are real, and that I need a lot of help managing my symptoms while I grow out of the damage done to me.

It is really hard for me to live in a true present, because there is still so much fear and terror locked up in my body. However, I do continue to grow. It is obvious to me, and I am pleased with my continued progress. However, I do continue to need meds for anxiety and panic, and have had to learn that I have to live my life a little differently than most.

That doesn't mean that my life cannot be fulfilling and satisfying. I still have a lot of growing pains, however I also see myself embracing a more authentic me all the time. So, progress, not perfection. Focusing on where I'm not instead of where I am has always been a great distraction for me, and has wasted a lot of time.

Being judgmental about needing meds has never helped me. I do not want to need medications. It doesn't mean I don't need them. I believe I will ultimately not need medications. I believe that day will be when I have uncovered all the untruths I continue to carry around which keep me unbalanced.

It's a tough area to deal with. I wish you luck.

Don
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Divine Law is not judgment or denial of self truths. Divine Law is honoring harmony that comes from a peaceful mind, an open heart, a true tongue, a light step, a forgiving nature, and a love of all living creatures. Jamie Sams & David Carson, Medicine Cards

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#460579 - 02/12/14 09:59 PM Re: Coming off klonopin [Re: SoccerStar]
SoccerStar Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 916
Loc: New York
UPDATE: Psychiatrist listened to my tales of withdrawal and said it sounds to him like my underlying symptoms are still there and I still need this shit - that I have a persistent and serious anxiety disorder and might well be on klonopin forever. Either forever or until I reach a point in my life where it will be okay for me to go 4-5 nights without sleeping and in no way face any career or family consequences..... yyyyyeah.

So, we've turned our eyes on the Wellbutrin now. I seriously don't think I need this anymore. When I get depressed, there's no mistaking the feeling, it's like I'm so miserable there's a black cloud over my brain and I can't even see properly, like I'm not fully conscious. I'm nowhere near there now.

And I want to progress off SOME OF THIS SHIT. So congratulations, antidepressant, you're next to get voted off the island.

Since Wellbutrin is a slow-released drug, there is no weaning. You cannot take pill fragments - it's all or nothing. Psych was extremely firm on this: just finish my current scrip and then don't refill it. Instant cold turkey is the only way he will approve.

Should get there in about 4 more days. Here's hoping....



Matt



Edited by SoccerStar (02/12/14 10:00 PM)
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#461306 - 02/22/14 10:11 PM Re: Coming off Wellbutrin (not klonopin) [Re: SoccerStar]
SoccerStar Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 916
Loc: New York
Been a week off the Wellbutrin now.

I have never been so tired for so long in my entire life. It is unrelenting exhaustion, I sleep 8 hours and wake up more tired than ever. That plus an ever-present headache.

But I'm doing it. It isn't getting any worse and I can handle it. Absolutely no sign of depression or any other psychological / emotional side effect. Would sure love this bone-bitter exhaustion to fade away, any time now. But I'm doing it.

And I'm proud of myself for being able to do it after I failed on the other try.


Matt
_________________________
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"Don't think it hasn't been a little slice of heaven just because it hasn't!" --Bugs Bunny

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