My brain is out of control - post-withdrawal symptoms :(

Posted , 15 users are following.

I have quit diazepam about 3 months ago. I used 2mg every night for 2 months. I was prescribed it to cope with zopiclone/imovane withdrawal symptoms, which I took for 3 months top. But I feel like my brain is hurt/injured somehow and I don't understand since I tapered progressively and did everything I could to make the process of such a low dose right. Now, I'm stuck with bad symptoms:

- Severe dizzinness (vertigo, the ground seems unstable and therfore can't stand on a balcony. Also, can't look in a mirror, makes me almost nauseous)

- Head pressure

- Brain Zaps/spams in the brain that add to the dizzinness

- light ringing in the ear, mostly at night

- Hypnik jerks at night if I do too much exercise or even if I run for about 15 minutes...I also get these jerks when I drink half a beer/when I take 2-3 sips to taste. I stopped drinking 6 months ago. Frustrating

- Pins and needles hands and forearms. 

- I'm mostly tired all the time and I'm way more irratable

- I don't have much anxiety but when the symptoms get intense it feels extremely uncomfortable. 

- I'm not depressed 

- I tried acupuncture, one session relieved most of my symptoms for 2 days...

My doctor told me to do a lot of physical activity, but I can't since I took diazepam. When I was on zopiclone, I could go out for a 5miles 3-5 times a week. Now I can't since it gives me mutiples hypnik jerks that wake me up at night. 

Is y brain injured? Will it pass? Is this a sign that my brain is in repair/restructuring mode or something? Is this a neurological disorder? Help please. I not anxious anymore, I mostly scared and discouraged. I'm 28 and feel handicaped sad

Any help is appreciated. 

3 likes, 19 replies

19 Replies

  • Posted

    the dizziness you described is exactly what i was getting when coming of valium. i had to get my dose upped and it stopped... my gp has said next time i tapper i will "have to learn to live with it" as she does not think it will go aeay but i can "learn" what makes it werse and better then work with it that way... its a horrid feeling and for that reson only i am wanting to stay on a small dose of valium rather than cut it completely... i hope you find a balance to cope with it.
  • Posted

    Dear Jim

    Without going into detail, I had a similar experience. I was also on a much higher dose and for a lot longer than you.

    I have a very caring GP, and he gave me the option to have a repeat prescription with a recommended dose, but told me to use my own discretion and just use as needed.

    After a lot of thought, I've decided that it is better for me to stay on a maintenance dose at the moment, because the effects are far less severe than how I feel like when I have tried (several times), to come off them altogether.

    Don't be scared mate. Your brain is in shock like mine was. It just takes a bit of time for your brain to adjust to doing without a chemical it has become dependent on.

    I wish you every success in achieving your goal mate.

    • Posted

      Rain boy has your gp said the vertigo type symptoms will go? as my gp seems to think that with myself it will be a issue i will have to deal with.... did you get the same when tappering and has it got better over time or is it something you are learning to adapt to?
    • Posted

      Dear Luke

      My GP explained to me that it is a very individual matter. For one person it may vanish permanently, for another it may just diminish. Then of course there is the middle ground and that is where I am.

      Considerably reduced in both intensity and frequency, when I do experience it, I am able to deal with it quite capably.

      I don't think you should expect to be stuck in a rut with one predictable outcome. Giving yourself a little time and space, your brain and body will adjust to a pattern. I certainly hope that in your case it goes and never returns.

      Stay positive mate. The Doctor's comment may not come to pass. You are not alone with this, and you never will be as long as sites like this exist.

      Best wishes my pal.  :-)


  • Posted

    I'm not sure what to make of your issues. I doubt your brain is hurt/injured but I'm no doctor. Try to follow your doctors advice as best you can. You'll get there in the end.
  • Posted

    You have post acute withdrawal symptoms

    (paws) the symptoms can vary person to


    The dizziness should pass but can take a

    while, if you cant cope with it ask your GP

    about some medication to ease your

    symptoms (not valium) there are many

    medications for dizziness, I'm not sure

    about pins & needles though, pro plus or

    something similar for tiredness.

    Hope you feel better soon.


    • Posted

      its weird tho, paws for 2 months of valium (2mg once per day)? 
    • Posted

      I'm at my 5th session of acupuncture. It helped the first time, but every single session after "worsened" my symptoms. Now I can't sleep. I get weird mini seizure just before falling asleep accompanied with vertigo right before, and cold, shivering, weird itching caused by electrical flux (it seems), my brain feels like it's overworking or burning on the left side. It Happen right before falling asleep. 
    • Posted

      Hi Jim,Anthony here.I just joind about a week ago.I didnt respond because the discussion is 7 months ago.I study alot on PAWS,and I give rehab sessions regarding this .I understand your wondering why this prolonged symptoms for the amt and length of use.I was wondering if I could get an update.It would be much appreciated.Where I volunteer we are trying to help people recognize that symptoms can come and go,but we would like to tell about stories where a person found the light at the end of the tunnel.sometimes it seems symptoms will never end.I used heavily for 32 it took me basically 2 yrs to be totally free of PAWS cycle.I kept  journal.But others get upset,like I used to when we feel we make progress only to feel we make 2 steps back.Anyway I noticed that most people dont use as heavily as I did and any story of how things eventually went would be vey useful.Thank for reading .
    • Posted

      Hey Anthony, I can't believe this was me 7 months ago. A lot changed, for good. I now feel 80-85% myself. I sleep well, I don't have any brain zasp or hypnik jerks anymore and I can't do sports or exercise without any problem. I do experience vertigo, blurry vision, memory impairment, trouble concentrating, trouble articulating when I'm tired (very light), but these symptoms are fluctuating in terms of appearance and intensity. I feel pretty normal now. 

      At some point, I stopped caring about these symptoms and irrational fears and simply decided to keep on living as much as I could. I didn't do anything special...but I took care of myself on a daily basis, I stopped taking medications (under the supervision of my doc of course) by eating right, drinking water, seeing friends and family, do some very light physical activity (outdoor), enjoying the sun as much as possible, reading books, I stopped drinking alcohol and coffee for a year, just to see where it would lead me. The brain zasps lasted about 3-4 months. After this long episode, I was still experiencing a severe vertigo, high level of anxiety and irrational fears (like taking a plane, becoming schizo, doing an oral presentation, etc.) but it very slowly went away. You see, I'm now benzo free (it's been a year almost), I don't do drugs, I try to keep my mind active (in the good sense) and I learn how to medidate which I try to do 3x per week (40mins every session).

      I think what really helped me, was to get out of the routine and the familiar by travelling abroad 2-3 times. Travelling made me feel like my brain was in discovering mode and fully aware of everything/rewiring/making new positive connections. 

      My last year was the hardest year of my life (im 29). I used to have many regrets about the decisions I made that lead me to point where I was 7 months ago. Now, I don't have any regrets. I do feel a little bit changed (in a good way), and I decided that I want to live as much as possible smile

    • Posted


      I don't understand why your doc prescribed valium for zopiclone w/d.  They do the exact same thing.  It is a z-drug that should not be used in valium withdraw and vice versa

      I'm guessing you withdrawing from both. 

    • Posted

      Congrats!!!   I hope to be where you are this time next year.


    • Posted

      Well I had convulsions and spontaneous suicidal thoughts when trying to quit zopiclone (never had that in my whole life). So he told me to quit zopiclone cold turkey (2.5 mg) and take valium instead (2mg)....The toughts stopped but the withdrawal was pretty week later I started withdrawing 2 withdrawals at the same time I gues...
    • Posted

      Hello Anthony:

      You seem to be just the person I'm looking for to answer a couple of questions.  I'm just shy of 70 yrs. old (a young 70) who after 25 yrs. of being on 15 mg. of  Temazepam was suddenly refused future prescriptions about 8 months ago.  The story of my tapering is long, but suffice it to say, started my taper with little or no responsible monitoring by anyone who understood the Aston method of withdrawal. ( I brought Ashton's schedule to the Dr., was given prescriptions for valium and sent on my way with, "I'll see you in 12 wks.) The journey through the many side effects has been more than arduous.  As someone who walked 4 mi. 2x a week through the forest and did almost everything I used to do at 40 yrs. of age, all was halted.  I finally found a psychiatrist who said at my age and duration of taking this medication, I should never have been taken off after having 2 visits to the ER and a 3 day hospital stay with every cardio and neurological test available to man. (The Dr.s shrugged their shoulders and suggested I go to Mayo) He suggested after tapering to 4 mg. valium/day, I reset and stay on 2 mg. of valium and 7.5 of temazepam for the rest of my life.  That, in and of itself was a relief hoping the dreadful side effects of tapering would cease.  Well, here I am some 4 months later with some residual SE's hoping they will stop and allow me to find a sense of normalcy once again.  Just went through severe anxiety sending BP to dangerous levels at times.  I seem to have that under control.  Among other manageable SE's, I'm still left with dizziness some slight ringing the my ears, fatigue and at times insomnia that leads to more fatigue.  My progress is not measured in days or weeks, but rather in months.  As I look a back I can see the progress but it just seems so slow. 

      My question to you because you were on benzos for many years, is there a time when given your experience, where normalcy returns?  It can be so discouraging as each day passes and at times, I feel like I've slipped backward before a possible improvement.  Please give me your best accessment. 

      One last FYI....  2nd week into too rapid (for my circumstances) taper, I was hit with Lyme Disease.  Both hit my central nervous system at the same time.

      Thanks for any input you may have.


    • Posted

      Hi Anthony, I just noticed your post and thought you may have an answer to a question I have please. I am almost 62 . At the age of 5, due to me developing a stutter, my then gp put me on Valium. I was swopped and change .Libriam,Motival etc all through my childhood. I presume whenever I came off I had withdrawal which they weren't aware of then, and they put me on something else. Whenever I came off any it was cold turkey then.This was to the age of 25 when I was pregnant and stopped them.

      Question is could this have caused the numerous physical sptoms I'm still having to this day? I have never got an answer. Thanks Anthony.

    • Posted

      Im on benzos and starting to come down and I want to know what to expect in the end. Im waiting to get off of 20 years of methadone. im in the low 20s mg dose right now. I would like to know more about when I do taper off my benzos. Im very interested in the knowledge you have. thanks a ton,


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