Physical Symptoms from Protracted Benzo Withdrawal in Detail

The physical symptoms from klonopin withdrawal are just misery.  They make it so it is impossible to relax or be comfortable.  Many have lessened thankfully, but many are still relentlessly making me suffer.


There has been a tight band of pressure around my forehead and between my eyes since the beginning.  This symptom fluctuates often.  Sometimes it feels like there is a block of concrete inside my head and it hurts terribly, other times it is simply tight.  The front of my head feels very heavy, and my head feels larger than it is.  Heat seems to help it a little.  When it gets bad I sit in a hot shower and let the water hit my skull, or sometimes I will sit next to the fireplace and allow it to heat up my forehead.  From what I’ve read, this is a common symptom.  Some people claim it flares up after eating.


Muscles deep in my ears, muscles one cannot usually feel or ever be aware of, are constantly being tugged and pulled.  The pressure can get so bad that it hurts.  There used to be a burning sensation in my ears as well as if my ears were on fire.   Additionally, my ears pop and crackle when I swallow or open my mouth wide.  There is something strange happening to these muscles.  This became more tolerable in my fifth month.


Akathisia is a severe restlessness caused by the withdrawal in which you constantly have to move.  This is pure torture.  You cannot relax.  In the first few months it was terrible.  I had to go on hours long walks.  I was constantly moving my legs and pacing.  I used to wake up in the middle of night and start walking around, or I would go outside.  All of the nerves throughout my body could not be mad comfortable.  Sitting down, lying down was out of the question.  Standing still or walking slowly was also impossible.  It was as if ants were crawling all over my nerves and muscles.  Fortunately, this symptom constantly improves albeit very slowly over many months.  I still can’t stay still for very long, but it is so much more tolerable now.


It is like there are bees or power lines in my head and limbs.  There is this rapid internal movement inside my body which buzzes and vibrates.  This is another torturous physical symptom which prevents you from being comfortable.  It was constant in the beginning and now it comes and goes as I fluctuate.


This is very distressing also.  I had some tinnitus in my left ear from zoloft, but both ears flared up during klonopin withdrawal.  It is still twice as bad in my left ear than in my right.  It is a loud high pitched hiss, or perpetually sustained cricket chirp deep inside my brain.  In complete silence or in very small rooms it is terrorizing and gives me terrible anxiety.  Going to sleep is very difficult too.  The simple act of staying still and not focusing on anything reduces the ambient noise going into your ear and makes you hear it even more.  Moreover, it is amplified by pressing my ear into the pillow.  Nothing seems to be able to mask it.  I have white noise playing and the television on and still it terrorizes me.  It doesn’t seem to have gotten better, or if it has, it’s been only minor improvement.


There are so many problems with my vision right now.  My vision gets grainy like television static, especially in low light.  I can’t see in the dark or look up at the night sky.  It’s very noticeable against super dark and super bight colors.  My vision oscillates ever so slightly as if it were vibrating or I was underwater.  It’s not as though the objects in my vision are moving, but rather as if something transparent was moving in front of the image.  I think this is an eye muscle problem.  As I move my eyes it doesn’t seem fluid and the image seems to take a half a second longer to come into focus.  I can’t track moving objects or identify objects from their background very well.  I did have an optometrist tell me my eye muscles are very sluggish.  Reading is very strenuous.  I also occasionally get pressure behind my eyes and will feel little stabbing pricks against the back of my left eye.


In my second month my eyes exploded with floaters overnight preceded by some eye pain in the week prior.  There are at least 20 of them floating around and make being outside in the daylight very disturbing.  One day, when this is all over, I plan to check out laser surgery procedure that gets rid of them.


I constantly feel off balance and woozy as if I am very drunk.  I guess you can call it dizziness, but I don’t get vertigo.


This can be particularly strong in my forehead.  Behind it my brain feels like a block of ice.  My face can be cold to the touch and I will sweat.


In the first few months there was a great deal of tension in my jaw.  It felt uncomfortable and I didn’t know what to do with my jaw while I tried to go to sleep.  I would clench and grind them all night too.


This was very scary in the first couple months and returns only occasionally now.  I felt like I could never get enough air, even though this wasn’t the case.  It was just a feeling.  And there was something strangely voluntary about my breathing as if I had to physically force myself to breath which also wasn’t reality, but I felt that way nonetheless.


In the first three months this symptom would come and go.  It was as if I had a very bad sunburn all over my body.  It hurt when I touched my skin or had hot water touch it just like a sunburn.


I started to notice my hair got thinner very quickly while on klonopin.  When I jumped off of the drug it started falling out and I could see my scalp.  When I wash my hair in the shower there will be a bunch of hair would come off in my hands.


For the first for months I had diarrhea every day.  I also had urinate constantly.  I would wake up several times a night to go to the bathroom.  It seemed like every twenty minutes to a half an hour I would have to go.


I am always thirsty.  It’s probably related to the frequent urination.  I can drink four or five tall glasses of water in succession without getting sick of it.  I have been drinking a gallon and a half of water per day on average.


I’m sensitive to light. Sounds seem too loud and create vibrations in my ear.  And scents, particularly perfume, make me sick to my stomach.


Occasionally, my heart starts to pound for no reason.  It gets worse when I’m active.


I’m incredibly weak.  I can’t lift as much as I used to.  I get tired so easily, and I mean exhausted.  Getting up and walking around the house can sometimes make me breathe hard and my heart race.


I constantly bump into things and often I’ll reach for an object but knock it over instead.  I also drop stuff often.


My nerves are very jittery.  Small, precise movements were very hard for me in the beginning.  This had improved a lot.


Through all of this I haven’t had anything I’d call insomnia, but I am easily awoken.  The slightest sound can wake me up, and my cortisol levels skyrocket and I can’t get back to sleep.

Click here for a list of my psychological symptoms.

Click here for a description of my cognitive dysfunction.

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68 Responses to Physical Symptoms from Protracted Benzo Withdrawal in Detail

  1. tonyb0791 says:

    I think I am suffering from same thing. I pace back and forth all day like a caged animal. I can barely drive. My vision is weird. I can’t think or pay atteention to my son. I am crying all day to my mom and I’m a forty year old man. I can’t work! This is insane. I am still on 1 mg of klonopin wich does noything! Everyday is surival. Insane anxiety all day. Crying and derealazation….I want my life back! Is there hope?

    • benzofree says:

      I’m so sorry. I know exactly what you are going through. Can you find a doctor who is aware of how dangerous Klonopin is and maybe switch to Valium? Valium has a long half life and might ease your withdrawal. Then you slowly taper off of it.

      There is hope. I was a complete wreck. I couldn’t be alone, was constantly pacing, had intense fear of everything, along with many physical discomforts. It has gotten so much better, though I can’t say I can resume my life yet. The only thing that is preventing me from resuming my life right now is my concentration and memory issues which are usually the last things to go away. The only way to heal is to get off, but you can’t cold turkey. You need to taper even if you taper directly off of the Klonopin. I promise it gets better, but it takes a very long time. A support system is crucial. And so is your support system understanding what you are going through.

    • benzofree says:

      Also, it’s totally likely once you are completely off (after a taper) that you won’t have protracted symptoms like me. Keep that in mind. A taper can take a long time, but you could easily be fine after being off for a couple of weeks. Only 1 of 5 go through a bad protracted withdrawal.

      • SEZ says:

        I’m going through HORRIFIC protracted withdrawal from KLONOPIN. I only took this Horrible drug (.25 mg) for three weeks, but made the incredibly ill-informed decision to go off it cold turkey almost 3 weeks ago. I’m now afraid I’ll be stuck in this purgatory forever. Both my mental and emotional states are Completely shot! I’m usually very articulate and eloquent when it comes to writing or speaking… but I feel cognitively impaired now… It’s HORRIBLE. Many docs refuse to recognize that I’m even going through this… and just advise the usage of MORE drugs… I’m not opposed to this, but I don’t see how going back on would improve my mental clarity… I’m afraid my mind is lost forever:(

    • Krissy says:

      How are you doing now Tony?

    • Jamie says:

      Did this subside for you?

  2. Debbie says:

    I was on Clonazpem for 5 years. .05 daily. I felt sick constantly as I refused to increase my does. I have been free from the drug since April 1/2011. I weaned off over a 5 month period, which might have been too quick. The withdrawl was brutual. It has been 8 months now and I still suffer from derealisation, dizziness, severe tightness in neck, back and shoulders, nausea, feeling like my arms and legs are not attached to my body and that I am living in a dream like state. Have reaction to caffeine and sugar, so best to eliminate both as well I have read that no supplements of any sort should be taken during withdrawl, especially calcium as it stimulates the central nervous system. The most disturbing side effect other than the derealisation, is my hypersensitive nervous system. I have to wear ear plugs as I can not deal with noises, such as tv, music, people talking. I feel out of body when I experience these things. I am still anxious but was put on zoloft in the first 2 weeks of my withdrawl and I felt I was mad and going out of my head, I could not sit down, go in public, spent most of my time laying down from dizziness. At this point I don’t know if the Zoloft is contributing to my symptoms but I am afraid to stop taking it. Doctors have no idea of benzo withdrawl, they seem to think it only last a month or so. The most common diagnosis that they will give is that the symptoms are not from the drug but are related to my pre-existing health prior to the drug. I did not have anxiety or any of these symptoms prior to this drug. Doctors should have to take the drug themselves and experience withdrawl to see what it’s really like. It’s like a living hell. Maybe it might be in their patients best interest for them to check out the Heather Ashton site on the internet regarding benzo withdrawl, she saved my life during early withdrawl. I believe I would have taken my life if not for her. I was scared because the doctors insisted my symptoms were not from withdrawl. I thought I would have to feel that way for the rest of my life. I am slowly getting better, however I have a long way to go. For any of you who are in withdrawl from this drug check out Heather Ashtons site and hang in there, it will get better.

    • Kai says:

      I am experiencing the exact same symptoms after withdrawing from 1.5 mg a day down to .375 over a six week period. I was on klonopin a little over two years. I too feel it was too fast. I went down to 1mg and then .50 for a month and I have been on .375 for the past two weeks. Are you still experiencing these and did anything help. I want to get engaged and lead a normal life. Please respond.

      • Debbie says:

        I am now 30 months benzo free and still have horrible withdrawal symptoms. Derealisation, dizziness, muscle stiffness, noise sensitivity, racing heart, anxiety, spend a lot of time bedridden. I am still not able to exercise or raise my blood pressure or Im toast for a long time. I also want my life back. Don’t know how much longer I can play the “I feel well game”.

  3. SEZ says:

    P.s. Good Luck and God Bless to all who are suffering through this alongside with me! We SHALL overcome!

    • rjoch says:

      I am 2 weeks post xanax. Is anyones muscles stiffening up when you try to do normal daily task. Sometimes my muscles do not stiffen up and other times they stiffen up so bad it scares me.

      • Leigh Ann says:

        I will be sitting in a chair and all of sudden my arm or leg will violently jerk as if I have parkinsons disease. My Dr says they will eventually stop, but they haven’t yet.

  4. mary idema says:

    Hello…I just want to say,there IS hope for you! I was on Klonopin for 20 years and am happy to say that I’am now 23 months free, ( almost 2 years!). After I realized I was in tolerance and a few trips to the psyc hospital, I knew it was the K causing my trouble. I felt I was coming out of my skin, it was horrible. Anyway, I checked myself into a 30 day re-hab…big mistake!!! When I got out of the re-hab( benzo free of course), I could not cope, I was worse than ever. So I went back to my doctor (addiction doctor now) he recommended I reinstate the K, so reluctantly, I did! Then I did a very slow taper by water titration. It took 1 1/2 years! I had lots of horrible syx’s along the way, I could’nt work anymore, it was one of the hardest things I had ever done. So now here I’am nearly 2 years later…I have been in protracted w/d, but it has been very managable. I have realized that the waves of syx’s have become much shorter and farther apart, with mild intensity. My life is back to normal…the only lingering syx is a slight rapid heartbeat upon waking in the am, and some insomnia. I though I would NEVER be back to normal, it was along time in recovery, but, it’s now pretty much behind me now. I found that if I didn’t fight it, like when you’re stuck in traffic and you want to get home…the only thing you can do is wait it out? Eventually you will make it out of that traffic, it doesn’t help to fight it, just ride through it. Another thing that helped me was…when I had syx’s I told myself my body is healing and in order for it to heal completly, it has to go through the syx’s. It’s true…these pills totally mess us up, but, I’m here to tell you, it get better! Why do some of us have to suffer protracted w/d? Idk…we are all different, it is what it is! I hope this encourages those of you that are wondering if you will ever get well! I KNOW how discouraging it can be, I still get twinges of that discouragment when I have a sleepless night, but then when I look back at how far I’ve come, I know, I have healed! You will heal too!!!

    • Krissy says:

      How are you doing now?

    • Debb says:

      It’s 23 months for me benzo free. I am still suffering from heightened anxiety, clenching of teeth, derealization, pressure in head, insomnia, dizziness, sensitivity to noises, restlessness, numbness in eyelid occasionally. I was put on zoloft 1 month into my benzo withdrawal and I am still taking it. I have to wonder if the zoloft is causing these lingering symptoms. I get surges of energy in my head when I’m sleeping at night which wakes me. I feel like I’m going crazy. The muscle tightness in my neck is unbearable. The doctors don’t believe me and just think I am causing myself to feel sick. Makes me so angry. As if I don’t have enough to deal with trying to stay calm, I am constantly fighting with the doctors. I can not deal with stress of any kind and I get dizzy and nauseous. Actually everything feels like it’s stressful even if it isn’t. Anyone have any advice?

      • rjoch says:

        I can empathize with you. I was put on Xanax to treat anxiety. I only took it for 5 months and only took 1mg to 1 and a half mg a day. I weaned off 2 wks ago and feel like I am in a living hell. My neck and shoulder muscles are so stiff I can hardly function. I get burning pains in my arms and my muscles in my arms will tense up suddenly. I keep telling myself that this is withdrawel because I start thinking brain damage and other scary things. I do not drink or smoke and cannot believe my psychiatrist put me on this drug!

      • Muscle tightness in head, in neck !! – I suffer from it, too! I’m at 10 month after taking Klonopin for 20 years- o.5 mg- I suppose I ‘m having a very rough time -anxiety, panic are worse than at the beginning. Debb, I know it is awful-but Zoloft may be a problem, too..After the jump in the 2nd month I was given Mirtazapine 15 mg which was good for insomnia and anxiety but not for muscle spasm in my head:-(. I tapered off of it after 4 month but as my anxiety level went up recently, I think I’ll take Mirtazapnbe again. Anyways, this is a horrible journey and I’m 100 percent sure there is not any tormenting an illness in the world.

  5. Krissy says:

    I would live to hear updates from all these people? Has everyone improved?

  6. mary idema says:

    Hello Krissy,
    I’am VERY pleased to tell you that…YES, I have improved!!! I will be 2 years benzo free on November 4th, just right around corner! I feel it’s behind me now, I feel VERY present in my life now, no more foggyness or feeling like an alien! I think that alien feeing was one of the worst syx’s, actually that… and the anxiety! I can laugh about it now, but going through it, wasn’t so funny at the time.The only lingering syx is occasional insomnia, but I’m so used it by now, that I’ve learned not to stress over it anymore. I have no doubt that it will get better as well.
    I have also come off of Prozac too, 15 months off! I DON’T suffer from a depressive disorder, nor GAD, as the doctors tryed to tell me over 20 years ago, Yes, I took benzos and Prozac for 20 years!!! Anyway, life is good for me now, actually life is awesome right now! I have a new husband, whom I met when I was 50 years old, we have been married for 2 years now. He is the love that I have always looked for, he has absolutly no expectations on me what so ever! Unlike my 1st marraige of 25 years, he wanted a puppet that he could control. So ya wonder why I took meds??? It’s never too late to find happiness, I know I had to go through all of this for a reason, it’s made me a much stronger person, much more able to handle the stresses of life, w/o meds, but trusting in God… that He will see me through!! I hope this helps, you’ll get better and you’ll be surprized at how strong you are too! Be proud of yourself for accomplising such an enormous feat!!! Those of us who have gone though this nightmare have an understanding…we understand each other, it’s a trip that knowbody understands unless you’ve gone through it! Right? That’s why I love to encourage the newbies, they need to hear that there’s hope!I remember reading those recovery stories, hanging onto every word to find that hope! Thanks for letting me share.

    • Ruth says:

      Same here. Trust and ride it out. 3 months in.. and I have faith. I feel better now than I did when I was on Klonopin. I am interested in life again. I will never take something like this ever again. :)
      Thinking of wearing a medical bracelet stating do not give Benzos or any like-acting drug.
      All it takes is one to start this all over!

      • Ruth says:

        3-4 mg nightly for 15 years. No taper. 3 months off. No, not easy..However, creating extra stress over it actually makes this worse. So, deep breath, and work on ways to lesssen the anxiety and stress. Exercise, and eating a heart healthy diet (low in sugar, no caffeine) helps.

    • I’m so happy to hear this!! It sonds like a perfect victory at every level:-) Congratulation!! Thanks for encouraging us..Happiness, by the way,has a magic power, a healing force.
      Much love!!!

  7. CDSA says:

    Help! I need advice & help. I was prescibe valium for around a year for RLS. I had no idea what I was even taking because I was on the generic. I was on the lowest dosage (.5 mg). It stopped working, so I stopped taking it. This spring, I started having tingling in my leg and became very easily stressed out. I now believe it affected my marriage. I left my husband (the love of my life), and now he won’t even talk to me or consider us working things out. I had no idea what was wrong with me, but it was like I could not control my actions. I thought it was bad then, it has only gotten worse.

    A few weeks after my separation, I went to my same benzo-issuing GP, and he prescribed Klonopin to help me sleep. I again had no idea what I was taking. I took 1mg for a month before I realized what it was, and how these drugs had been affecting me; however, my GP refused to see me or take my calls. For this reason, I looked for another doctor who would provide me a taper plan. None of them would help me, so I checked myself into a detox hospital. BIG MISTAKE!! I thought they would start me on a taper plan that I could finish at home. They took me off of it cold turkey, which was a month ago today. I have the worse protracted withdrawals, and they are getting worse every day or so. I have lost so much weight, my heart palpitates 24/7, I have tinnitus 24/7, my hair is falling out, my vision is blurry, I have no personality or emotions and I can’t focus or remember anything. I am looking at having to go on disability from work. The sweating is better, but I still get the “hot flashes” feeling and I have terrible acne now all over my face. I can only sleep by taking Seroquil, which is also addictive, but NO THING ELSE works!!! I can’t live like this, and these benz have ruined my life!!!

    I am surviving on the Seroquil and Neurotin that I was prescribe to help with the tremors and potential for seizures. I am going to go mad when these meds are gone. I have been to several other doctors asking them to reinstate the Klonopin and taper me down to at least aleviate these symptoms some and every doctor says that he or she can’t based on a law in our state. I will not be able to live like this continuously. I would even be open to them putting me back on the valium if it would help any…don’t know what to do. Think I will be dying soon.

    Sorry for the long message. I am desperate for relief. I know I have destroyed my marrigae and happy home, but I don’t want to die or lose my health forever. Is there anyone out there that has any ideas of how I can survive or get the help I need. I am desparate for my life!!

    Thank you all from the bottom of my heart!!

    • benzofree says:

      I am so sorry you are going through this. Can you find a doctor who can help you taper using the Ashton method? You may be able to find one near you through this website
      Cold-turkey withdrawal is a terrible experience, so if you can somehow reach out to a doctor who understands you will be much better for it.

      • Joe says:

        I have always taken valiums, from when i was a teenager (my father used to get them) and never went through a withdrawal. Since April of this year, and on an off before that, I have been using Klonopins, anywhere from 3-4mg a day to just .5/mg a day, depending on how i felt. I felt great, no panic, just relaxed. Well, they’re gone now, and I haven’t had one since last Monday, when I took .25mg, Tomorrow will be a week. The crying jags are bad when they come, and I am just filled with fear, and doubting everyone, wallowing in self pity, and it sometimes feels like I’m tripping, things just get surreal. It’s psychological, but after reading this site, I see the similarities, so I am experiencing withdrawal. It’s awful. It’s panicky. My chest is tight. My mind races. The fear is immobilizing me. I have to go to my outpatient program tomorrow and I will seek help. I can’t go to rehab or anything, I have responsibilities, and I already did that for hard drugs, which I have been off of for 7 years now.
        Thank you all for sharing your experiences, it helps to know it’s more than just me losing my mind. Good luck to everyone getting off this terrible drug.

  8. Mitch says:

    I’m glad I found all of you.. I was on Clonazapam (Klonapin) 3 mgs a day for 15 years. I was taken off cold turkey 7 moths ago and I am right there with the suffering here. Burning knife pain that moves and crawls all over my torso front and back. Head spins like I’m stoned.. Concentration and Memory that no longer works passed 1 second.. If I don’t write it down. I can’t remember it. My Doc says it can’t be Benzo withdraw as it is out of my system in a few days.. How can a Man that has been educated in medicine not know about the damage to the brain from 15 years of Benzo use? The answer is he knows all about it.. But where this drug makes so many people rich, and us coming back so often, He won’t admit the problem exists.. It’s like dying… If what you all are going through is any indication of what’s to come, I’m in this for another 16- 17 months.. I can see why people are so frustrated with our medical so called professionals…. Mitch . .

    • ben says:

      dude i was on clonazapam for 8 years i just started getting out of the bed for the last year .my doctor is a freaking moron he says there is know way know how that it is the clonazapam .he is sending me in for a catscan .i have heard voices ,my body does not feel like my own .i drive my family nuts with a new dissies i think i am dying of every week .my vision is so missed up .double blurred vission .also like the staticy snowy stuff on a channel with knothing on .i am 17 months cold turkey i have gottem a lot better .the zaps are gone .but i still have the tight ban .the jerks .big time paraniod ,but i go to the gym kung fu and jujistsu every day keep your mind and body busy at all times and for sleep i take 2 gravol the stomach pills and also 2 asprin it knocks me out in a hour it works great for sleep .oh yeah stay away from all caffiene and if you are watching something on tv that is missing with you turn the channel .and oh yeah all doctors are the pharma companys bitch they get huge kick backs every time they dose some one up with that piosion . i say all of us that are suffering have a huge flash mob world wide and wake the world up with what is going on before they do this to our kids .and grand kids and so on .this has to stop NOW

  9. Neula says:

    Thank you so much for posting this! I started Klonopin again 5 months ago when I started having panic attacks again. I had only taken it for a few weeks a couple of years ago and then on an as needed basis. The reason I started it again is because the other anti anxiety meds made me very sick. Well, this past October I did a 6 1/2 mile run (I had started running earlier in the year and was doing okay, panic attacks and anxiety had improved somewhat). The week after my run I was exhausted. Then in November I did a 5K and the same thing happened. So I stopped running because of how I was feeling. Then at Christmastime I started getting really weak again. I finally realized that each of these times that I was getting severe fatigue were the same times I had cut down on the Klonopin. I was only taking .25mg and was cutting down to .125mg. Every time I started to feel sick I would go back up to .25mg not realizing that the medication was the issue. I am obviously very sensitive to medication because its such a small dose to have the kinds of reactions I’m having. My eyes had been feeling like they were numb and I have also had problems with my eyes adjusting to light. I’m so glad to find out that this may just be withdrawal. I’ve been worrying that something else is wrong.

    • EricB says:

      Neula, I have been running for the last ten years and have good running times to show for it. I used to run 20 miles or more. Since I have stopped taking Klonopin 4.5 months ago, my stamina is awful. I am exhausted so easily that it is difficult for me to keep a 9 minute a mile pace (I used to be about 7). I can only run about 5 miles every other day or so. I can only hope that I get better.

      • Nashvillechick says:

        Eric, have your endurance and pace improved? I’m 5 months off of klonopin and feeling like a total slug. It takes an act of congress to make it through 40 minutes on the elliptical, and running is nothing like it’s been for the many years that I’ve been at it. This and social isolation are two of the most troubling symptoms of my withdrawal…

    • benzofree says:

      Those are classic early symptoms people experience when cutting.

  10. Bee says:

    12 days off as of today. Tapered for a year from 1 mg of clonazepam. Am in terrible shape and so worried about all the symptoms I am having and if they will go away. Rather be dead!
    Has anybody tried a/d or neuroleptik to help cope with symptoms. Any other advise what could help. Should I reinstate?
    Please help!!

  11. Bee says:

    What happened to you? How are you doing?
    I will love to hear!!
    Because I feel just like you do!!
    Thanks a lot

  12. Lauralee says:

    I am a recovering addict…my drug of choice were Benzos..No reputable doctor would ever take you off any meds in the Benzo family cold turkey because it can be life threatening..I went to five rehabilitation hospitals and never once did they let me stop taking them without a taper…even with alcohol I (nor any other patient) never went cold turkey, because this too can be life threatening. for alcohol patients were given a Librium taper. It is extremely difficult to taper off on your own at home…most employers and judges, who have ordered rehab and detoxification will not accept in home detox credentials..and they shouldn’t because they have a very marginal success rate. I’ve been sober 3 years now and know how you are hurting, but you don’t have to. Find a doctor who specializes in addiction..don’t go to the ER or a general practitioner because you will be flagged as a drug seeker. And do not go to the state hospital..because they don’t follow any kind of taper plan….you also need to find out how long the half life is in whatever you are taking so you can be prepared for the length of detox. Good Luck

    • Nashvillechick says:

      Lauralee–you’re right that no one should ever do CT, but a “reputable doctor” can be brutally hard to find. When I was struggling with personality changes while on benzos (was on them for about 20 years), I went to Sierra Tucson, which is a very pricy facility in Arizona. The intake woman promised me on the phone that they wouldn’t take me off of benzos, but they stopped them the day I arrived and put me into a detox unit… They basically lied to me to get me out there, then treated me like a drug addict one they had me. I was on prescription benzos and actually took less than the prescribed dose. CT withdrawal put me in such a bad place, the money I spent was totally wasted on going through WD while they simply watched. At the time, I didn’t understand what was going on, and I have to say that they didn’t help to teach me. When I got home, my psychiatrist reinstated the benzo, which I stayed on for another 10 years before figuring out that I needed to taper off. My local doctor is highly respected in the area, but she didn’t support me coming off—she said that my symptoms (of inter-dose withdrawal) were signs of underlying PTSD and that I just needed to increase my dose. I tried that for a while, but knew it wasn’t the answer, as I just felt worse. Benzos had become toxic in my brain and I somehow understood that the only way to get better would be to go through whatever I had to to get off of them. I had NO idea how painful and prolonged withdrawal would be, but felt so bad while on the drug, I think that I’d have still have come off if I had known. I weaned down for 6 months and have been off for 5. It’s been horrible, but I think I can finally see the light at the end of the dark tunnel that I’ve been in. The thing that’s kept me from even remotely considering reinstating has been reading that each time we go through this will be harder than the last. This is my second time, and I really don’t know that I’ve got it in me to handle worse than this one has been. I’m just so so sad right now! I feel like I’m losing all contact with life and friends. The one thing that I’ve forced myself to continue is some exercise. I can’t do it at the level that I had been, but am still getting in enough to make a positive difference. Sorry for that long story, but it felt good to get it out of my head and onto “paper.”

  13. Wpman says:

    I’m just over 2 years benzo free after using Klonopin for 5-6 months… and just all of you I wonder will these symptoms ever stop. Head pressure, headaches, skin burning, and various under the skin sensations come and go every now and then. The duration and intensity varies. Sometimes I feel great for a month or so, then it hits me and I struggle for weeks, and looks like that cycle is infinite… Thank you for having this blog, knowing this is all “normal” somehow make this process easier…

  14. AJ says:

    I went off of klonopin December 15 2008. Right away i ended up in the ER twice within a couple of weeks. I went through all the things mentioned here. It was pure hell and no doctors would believe it was withdrawal. It weighed terrible on my marriage and I missed out on so much. Since then I have been through numerous doctors, tests, ct scans, mri’s, blood tests. I have seen an ent, chiropractor, neurologist, and cardiologist thinking something must be wrong. Everything came up normal. I feel alot better than i did. the electric shocks through the body were horrible. I still have terrible pressure in my head and tight neck and shoulder pain. I still fight anxiety since going off klonopin and dizziness. Which is unbearable somedays. i felt just fine before klonopin. Perfectly fine! I never had anxiety or panic attacks. My doc put me on it for about a year to help me sleep. He never told me about the consequences. Even now my life is a struggle. I really feel that it did damage to my right ear. That is where my dizziness stems from. Going on and then off of klonopin has GIVEN me problems. I’m still hopeful that one day I will wake up and feel normal. Prayers to everyone going through this.

  15. EJ says:

    Great website and thank you all for sharing – my story – well, no one would believe and I’m still in the living hell

  16. RG says:

    Hey, stumbled on this site. Was on 4 mg Klonapin(clonazepam) for 5 years. Began tapering 8/10, and finished 1/11, 5 months. WAY too fast, should have taken at least a year. Initial withdrawal side effects were beyond horrific, severe dizziness, headaches, muscle craps, and loss of cognitive function, trouble reading, writing, stammering words, trouble adding simple numbers, and forgetfullnees. After the 5 month taper and 3 additional months of this horror, most of the symtoms subsided. Sadly however, 6 months later returned, and after 3 months battle they left, and again returned in 9 months. Caffiene and sugar, chocolate/cola, are triggers, AVOID THEM AT ALL COST! The symptoms do ebb and flow, coming and going at this point. There are 2 very odd symptoms that began during the taper and have never left, severe dry eye and dry mouth. I’ve seen a number of doctors for this, had tons of bloodwork, which showed nothing. Hoping this year will be the end of the symptoms.

    • davea12 says:

      Has anyone tired Flumazenil infusions (3-5 days) post detox? I continue to study and have talked to several patinets that swear it removed all symptoms. Unfortunately, none were in the US and hard to find any doctors in the states who will embrace the protocol.

    • Ruth says:

      Caffiene and sugar are most definite triggers! It takes three days for balance issues to come back to some sort of “normal” after ingesting caffiene or a large amount of sugar (piece of cake). It is easier to follow a heart healthy diet instead.
      Due to the visual disturbances, my eyes are overworked and feel “bugged” open. Which might explain the dry eyes. I know the dry mouth and eyes for me is probably related to sweating and frequent urination.

    • Nashvillechick says:

      RG–it’s been 2 years since your post—has the dry eye/mouth issue cleared up? I’m 5 months out and really struggling with both. I have to use eyedrops, especially at night, and drink a lot of water. I’ve wakened up with my throat so totally dry coughing caused a bleed. I spit blood for about 15 minutes before it stopped—really scary, especially to a brain in WD! Hope you’re doing better, both for your sake and so that I can have a bit more hope…

      • nashvillechick says:

        I found a dry mouth solution and am leaving it here for anyone else struggling with the same issue. XyliMelts, made by oracoat. They’re small disks of xylitol that stick to a tooth or your gums and stimulate your mouth to make more saliva. They work wonderfully at night, and despite a few scare websites, which I ignore, I can’t find any real risks to using xylitol, which is a natural substance derived from plants. The main side effect if you take in too much of it is gas, bloating, and diarrhea. So just don’t over use them… One disk every 6 hours at night works for me, and at least half of the time I don’t use another for the last hour or so of sleep — just for cost reasons.
        If you go to the company’s website, they’ll send you a 12 disk sample packet if you pay the $3.20 shipping.

  17. Shannon says:

    I was on clonazapam for about 6 Ive been off about a month now after a slow taper. I’ve been dealing with all the above withdrawl symptoms, the brain fog, shaking, sweating, muscle spasms, insomnia, afraid of being alone, problems driving, memory, crazy thoughts, thoughts of terror, and on and on! I can tell everyone that it does get better:) it’s been slowly but surely improving. I’m getting my memory back, no more shaking hands, in fact most all symptoms besides a racing heart have gone away. The biggest problem I’m dealing with now is terrible acne, which I’ve never had. I have no idea when or if this will ever go away.
    I wanted to share with everyone a few things I’ve done to get through all my symptoms. First I went to a very knowledgeable nutrition store and told them my symptoms and they gave me some GABA supportive supliments, and calming support. Also prayer with my paster, and support system at church. A very healthy diet, very little perseratives, smoothies, and no caffeine or chocolate. I’ve little by little started drinking coffee again but not as much as I used to. So again just to let everyone know we all heal differently. I’ve found that after you stop taking Benzo’s your brain is in a state of disrepair, kind of like a tramtic brain injury. It takes quite awhile for a brain injury to heal, but every time you feel the horrible withdrawl effects your brain is healing it’s self. So I recommend going to YouTube and watching some of the mediation videos are on there. I lived on a benzo free meditation every few hours at first, now just every once in a while:)
    I really hope I helped someone in some way, it does get better! God bless.

  18. TW says:

    So happy to have found this…I was on 8 mg Klonapin a night for 6 years…and yes it was prescribed. Long story short I had to get off of it when my new Dr wouldn’t refill my prescription. He wanted me to go cold turkey! I ended up in the ER and then in the psych hospital for a week for a”quick” detox. It has been 3 months now and I have had a lot of the symptoms you all have described. The worst is the anxiety, tinnitus, and sleepless nights. It’s so bad I can barely function. At my wits end and don’t know what else to do. What I would do for a good night’s sleep and no more ear ringing! How long could this last?!

    • Anon says:

      tw…hang in there. It does improve, but very, very slowly. The faster you withdraw, the worse the symptoms, or so I’ve read. Going off cold turkey was ill advised and dangerous. I’m taper off over 5 months and I think that was too quick. But that’s over now. Focus on the little improvements, no matter how small, but at the same time don’t look at your impovement day over day, but more month over month. I’m off almost 3 years now and still have some symptoms, but much better than in the beginning.

  19. Lynne McGivern says:

    I was put on benzos (klonapin) over 10 years ago and am now trying to wean myself off of them slowly. I feel horrible. I have a lot of nausea and intense bloating (a symptom I found on another site) and what feels like little electrical charges in my intestines. I have major anxiety and lots of crying jags. It goes without saying that I can’t handle anything emotional at all. I tapered slowly but still find the issues extremely difficult to handle. I can fly off the handle over the slightest thing … horrible. I not only have brain fog but sometimes it feels like I have things crawling around in my brain. I often can’t think of the words I want to use and wonder if it is early onset dementia…great! I was put on Klonapin for a very serious case of trauma for which it helped tremendously … but now I need to get off. Has anyone else dealt with severe abdominal issues? I can’t stand this but I know I have to! HELP!!!

    • Tmolin says:

      Hi. I have just started tapering from xanax 5 mg rxn for insomnia from a psych Dr. I am very frustrated we have to go thru all of this bc of bad judgement on medical professionals. Interesting also is the fact that I have also been diagnosed with fibromyalgia…..from what I have read recently the syx of tolerance and withdrawal are exactly the same!! Could it have been the benzo this entire time!!! What a fiasco! Terrible addictions caused by people we are sopposed to trust! I am also on tramadol which I believe is simply at a tolerance level now too so it too is making me sick. Getting off both in time! But I am also a nurse and realize the taper needs to be very very slow. Debilitated from nausea and headaches and digestion issues!! Insomnia is an everyday battle even on the meds. I d be amazed if for 3 yrs its been the benzo making me sick all along!!! Only time will tell! Everyone hang in there! Don’t go back to the poison! Move forward to healthy living!

  20. Mari says:

    How is your visual snow/visual disturbances? Has it calmed down or left entirely?

  21. David says:

    Hang in there! Was on 6 mgs per night for 7 years and docs were no help at all in fact wanted to up the dose. Really bad dangerous drug.

  22. anna says:

    I am Anna from Russia . sorry if mistakes do not possess good English. I got the same problem . 1 year to 0.5 klonopin . I tried cold turkey in July 2013 . was a disaster . I wanted to die . I restored klonopin and started to fall in Cone . frankly , I find that the more suffering there . I am 35 years , have 2 children, and suffer from the idea that they can not take care of my children. I have all the symptoms described above. I already almost 8 months Cone , but the symptoms persist . I can say that is an improvement but very little . dizziness upset me the most. I feel like a hand pushing me Nevez , then the upper and lower limbs would not like mine, do not listen , muscles ache , you always feel clenched jaws , God, I could write endlessly , but I think those who pass through withdrawal not know very well . I sometimes depression , I do not want to see and hear one, sometimes very nervous , my kids annoy me , God, I come , I know it’s not normal but try to control the situation is very difficult , the world ma believes , doctors say it can not be . I feel alone. but sometimes are optimistic and believe that better days will come . I wish you all success . God be with us.

    • looking4hope says:

      Hi, I hope everyone is doing bette than when these were written. I’m sitting in bed feeling so overwhelmingly scared and alone. I have tapered off 2mg over the past 11 months, after 2 years on clonzpm. I have most symptoms, vertigo, tired, brain zaps, heacahes, sleeplessness, depression but the worst is the tinnitus. I don’t see how I can live life like this. It has been a week completely off, but the tinnitus started weeks ago. I just don’t know what will happen and if I’ll ever be able to live a happy life again. Everything hurts, I feel dazed and alien like, irritated beyond belief. I hate this! I am so grateful though to have come across this site with everyone understanding what it feels like. Wish I could warn the world to never go on these meds! They’re toxic. I will pray for everyone here and hope you all know you aren’t alone

      • Kirby1 says:

        I’m so sorry for your suffering and I’ve been there – on a higher dose and went so far as trying flumazenil infusions for 4 weeks. In the end, 4 doctors said – is it that horrible to live on klonopin for life? I’m not advocating that you do but I accepted it and now live a pretty normal life, void from withdrawal and only take in the evnings and morning. I’d love to take nothing but there’s a quality of life question you have to ask yourself and was it better on a low dose than what you’re experiencing? I had to ask the same question and now after 6 years, I just accept it, have adjusted to the side effects and live a pretty normal life. Others will argue against my view but for me, it was how much more did I want to suffer vs accepting that by brain had adapted. Klonopin at that dose is not toxic and there is no scientific proof that it causes cell death or brain damage.

    • Nashvillechick says:

      Anna—it’s been a year since this post. Your story touched my heart. I’m also a woman in withdrawal, but thankfully, my son is grown, so I don’t have him to worry about. I understand, though, how kids could annoy a recovering brain! I so hope that you’re doing better! I wish you well.

  23. brent says:

    I’m going through all this right now. Every symptom and it is completely brutal and the worst withdrawal I have ever even inagined

  24. brent says:

    I’d like everyone to know I couldn’t finish I had to give in. And I’ve done a lot of withdrawals in my life. This is by far the worst. I was on xanax x3 .5mg a day and I lasted a week without it and couldn’t go any further those of you that have finished this withdrawl I think highly of all of you for being able to stop cold turkey.

    • Nashvillechick says:

      Brent, it’s hard as hell! And no one but ourselves can say when we’re ready to take on the social, financial, and emotional insults that withdrawal brings to our lives. You’ll know when you’re ready to try again. I’m 5 months off after a 6 month taper and just spent the morning crying. It’s been hard beyond words, but it’s slowly improving and I know that for me, it was the right time. Best wishes to you!!!

  25. Pingback: Ear Ringing Benzo Withdrawal | Tinnitus - InstaHealth

  26. ashok says:

    The symptoms described under three heads are marvellous and 100% correct and presented in a manner that one who i undergoing such trauma can understand his problem and take appropritate measures to overcome the most dangerousprotacted problem. I am suffering 10 times the severity and trying every method possible like 1]determined to make breakthrough mentally2]related music on youtube.]3] manupulating drugs and dose to reprogramme withdrawl 4] meditation/ mild exercises yet the tourture is unberable and beyond description. Hence try without giving up hope .There is always light at the end of the tunnel.Last but not least hypnotic music and most important crave for DIVINE HELP. . I pray fo one and all.May you all succeed. May God be with you all. ashok

    • Ben says:

      i am going to save you a lot of torture and you can listen to me or not i have been suffering from benzo withdrawal for over 5 years now i have tried everything and i really found something that works believe me or not .i have been taking a suppliment gabba .and that is not the only thing there is a product that is called amino acids with bcaa in it .trust me these products really work and please do at least 20 min of cardio on a tred mile or eleptical a day .it taking the presure headaches away and yeas i mean away .i have been threw hell and back from halusinations ,hearing voices ,presure headaches,ringing ears ,muscle and body aches .floaters every symptom that the demon pill gives you i have expierienced .it is only the begining for you my freind but it does get better in time .you are not crazy .rember that .and if you want to feel better every day do what i said 20 min exersise a day amino acids with bcaa and a sup called gabba with b6 .listen to me or not but this will save a lot of pain and sleepless night .and oh yea if you have insomnia .take twoo asprin and a a pill called gravol and those two pills together will give you the best sleep you have had in years .AND DO NOT GIVE INTO TAKING ONE OF THOSE DEMON PILLS (BENZOS ) IT WILL ONLY SET YOU BACK BIG TIME

  27. stan says:

    Greetings! This could be me you are writing about. I have had most every experience that you have. I am 13 weeks c/t off .5 – 3 to 4 mg Xanax daily. For 15 years my general practitioner never told me they were addictive. I was in withdrawal for 10 years, going from specialists to specialists without knowing it, ending with terrible withdrawal symptoms: anxiety, panic attacks, depression, fear, jaw pain, suicidal tendencies, ect. Can’t stand my doctor any more! Someone I had trusted with my life and my family. He was increasing my dose without telling me I was experiencing tolerance! JERK! Anyway, I am doing better but still can’t do hardly anything. I only go to doctor’s appointments and some family events. Tomorrow is my birthday, no plans, just laying in bed wishing things were better. These next 3 months I am expecting more interaction in life. Hopefully I can function more normally, that would be a huge improvement! For those who are out there suffering benzo withdrawal I share your pain. May we all heal one day at a time. I would love to hear from many of you who are free from benzo withdrawal, that would be encouraging for me who is very lonely in this quest of chemical free health. Blessings!

  28. Mari says:

    I really wish the poster of this blog would reply to our questions. It’s been 4 years since I stopped benzo’s cold turkey and I still have visual snow and afterimages. Will this ever go away or is it a permanent thing?

  29. Not good ,its just never ending,isn’t it ? I get 5 hours sleep most nights and its right before i wake up ,that i am half dreaming and am normal,doing things normal people do . Then i have to wake up fully ,my head squeezed,my ears ringing like a siren ,then i try to stand and have to grab the handle on my stationary bike and pull myself up.That makes me feel like i got worse overnite ,but its the same,and this has been repeated almost 800 times. When are we going to get over this ?????( 29 months benzo free) Arnie.

  30. Hydro condo says:

    Me too. I have been off Klonopin for about 2.5 years but I’m still so sick. I have terrible tinnitus, peripheral neuropathy, breathing issues, hot flashes, dizziness, cognitive issues, I can’t remember it all. :(

  31. Hydro condo says:

    I forgot to say, I was forced off by a nurse practitioner after 30 years of taking benzos. She had only been my PCP for a couple of months. She forced me to go cold turkey. I will never forgive her.

  32. Budby949 says:

    This is unreal. I went cold turkey off clonopin 7 weeks ago. Had what I thought were couple seizures. Was weened from opioid by pain mgmt. Dr. But took me off clonopin all at once. My head and neck muscles move in a rocking shaking motion. My ct scans, MRI and eeg all came back normal. Don’t understand the head movements. Been off everything for 7 weeks. Have all the other symptoms stated here
    Gonna try the GABA.

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