Why do benzos have such a bad press?

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I've been on oxazepam and then it was replaced by temazepam for around 15 years. It started off due to a social phobia and not being able to sleep when we had visitors or I had to sleep anywhere away from home. I only needed them as and when and could take or leave them with no side effects and no withdrawals. The last couple of years since stopping my antidepressants, I have been taking 10mg of temazepam a night. I function well. I have no side effects and they work well. I probably couldn't sleep without them but my point is I take just one 10mg pill a night and have not increased the dose except in emergencies and that has been around 3 times a year when I take an extra half. I have hyperthyroidism which caused my initial insomnia but it was misdiagnosed as depression. There are very few drugs that I can tolerate and so benzos are  a life-saver for me. But I keep reading how bad they are and how difficult to withdraw from. My question is, why can't I just stay on them indefinitely if they keep me functioning well and I have no undesired effects. I worry that one day my GP will try to stop them. Then I feel my life will take a downwards turn. I am under unbearable stress with some major life decisions ahead of me.

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8 Replies

  • Posted

    I can understand your worries.

    In the 60s, diazepam was the wonder drug but now years, many years later they realised the side effects and have now reclassified a lot of the drugs.

    Drs are now saying " no" you can't have these drugs, people became addicted, the supply decreased and now people who are addicted through no fault of their own are having to try and obtain these drugs through whatever way they can.

    Dealers are laughing all the way to the banks and the tablets can be cut with anything.

    Who gave the medication in the first place, surely some responsibility must go to them. Do you agree?

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  • Posted

    It is the long term problems that they can cause for many people is the reason that 

    they are not being prescribed as they were back in the 1950's.

    You maybe one of the lucky few where you can do what you do.

    But what about when the 10 mg does stop working as it did for me when I was 

    taking a different benzo.

    I was also taking mine for insomnia when I became menopausal and was put on

    benzos and antidepressants .

    Turns out and i knew it was hormone related and psych drugs was not going to 

    make things better.

    Have you actually read about the long term problems that they can and have done 

    to people. If not I suggest that you do.

    I have been off all my psych drugs for over 3 and half years now and am so glad

    i did.

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  • Posted

    The number one and almost only reason is down to people developing a tolerance to them and therefore needing a higher dose to get the same affect. Of course this can't go in indefinately as the user would be on say 100mg within a year of starting taking them.

    You are obviously a sensible person who has proved you are not going to abuse them and I see no reason why your doctor would have a problem prescribing them as long as you do not require a higher dose and are only using them as and when needed.

    In most cases it is not the medication which is the problem, it is the individual taking them. The people who say 'don't take medication' are likely the type of people who don't have discipline and have been stopped from taking them themselves. As long as you are having a few days off a week, and you have exhausted all other types of treatment with no joy, and need them to enjoy your life, in my opinion there is no problem with taking the medication.

    Hope this helps.

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    • Posted

      Your comment emily about there may not be a problem taking them.

      I have friends who I met through a benzo forum that took them for many years. One was for 30 and the other for 40 years. They have come off theirs and are still having issues years later due to taking benzos.

      Seems hard to believe as no one does believe that this can happen.

      They certainly cause memory issues for a lot of people and there are 

      many people who have been told they have dementia as we know it.

      Yet were they asked if they had taken psychiatric drugs such as benzos. Probably not.

      It states that they are for short term use 4 to 6 weeks but unfortunately

      people take them for much longer because they become addicted to these drugs.

      They are also very hard to come off and that is why a lot of people

      end up keep taking them. There is also no help for us that do want to or need to come off them.


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  • Posted

    Yes, they seem to keep me on an even keel too. Admittedly I'm hooked on them now as I tried to sleep without them, but looking back many years, I wasn't sleeping well before, except if I drank a few glasses of alcohol which I don't want to do. I think taking the pills are better than alcohol and don't seem to have side effects. All the same, in an ideal world, I'd rather not be addicted to anything and just be able to relax and sleep peacefully.

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  • Posted

    Thanks, everyone. I don't have a break from them now, it's 10mg every night. I wake a couple of times during the night and if there is something on my mind like now (terrible unhappiness in the home) then I can't fall back to sleep. But other times I can. I have been up since 4 am this morning even with a temazepam, but I would have had zero sleep without it. Things are just so bad for me right now that I need the sleeping pills. But I would prefer to be pill free. I guess I need the thing that is making me so unhappy to be resolved before I can tackle the pills, but in the meantime I have the discipline not to keep increasing my dose.

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