Withdrawal from Diazepam

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Hi, my wife has been on diazepam for the past forty years. Our doctors in September last year stated that national guidelines stated she had to be weaned off them! No consultaion only a sheet passing on the way to be weaned off or any possilbe withdrawal effects. Does anyone know where i can see a copy of the national guidelines please? nearly a year on I am still struggling with my wife of 47 years, mental health and lack of support. I was led to believe the withdrawal was for users of 3/4 weeks?. Before being weaned of this drug my wife, myself and my family led a pretty normal life as we took in account what my wife could or couldn't do. since then, for nearly one year she has cancelled out patients for her arthritis and has virtually lived in the bedroom. Desperate husband needs answers please...

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  • Posted

    Hello Dave, I am so sorry to read your post and what a bad time you are having.  I don't know where you can see a copy of the national guidelines regarding Diazepam BUT I do know where there is a fantastic information site - benzo org.  Your wife has been given these for the past forty years, regardless of our ill informed, always saving money without thought for individual patients needs government !  They make me truly sick!  Clearly your wife has become dependent on this medication and neurologically may NEVER be ok without them.  Three to four weeks weaning off is INCORRECT.  That may be OK for people who,have used small doses for a short time but NOT right for a long term user.  Her "weaning off" could take years and still,not be successful.  Maybe you could access proper medical guidance via a referral to a neurobiology...or even a solicitor?  It seems, for what you have written, that (as is commen in the UK) your wife's needs and medical,history have. It been taken into account at all!  It appears she is just another statistic caught in the net of pen pushing target makers!  It makes me angry for you both!  Get some sound advice and asked to be referred to a specialist who can actually assist, advise and help her through this.  Also, take a copy of benzo org for them to read, underlining the paraphraphs which refer to long term use withdrawal criteria!

    Hope all goes well for you.

    Pat

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  • Posted

    Hi Dave, the best research is from Professor Heather Ashton. Just type her name in the internet and you will find her. She has the most research and recommendations. Good luck and keep the faith!!! Best wishes, Jane
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  • Posted

    OHHH Dave,

    Firstly, I am so so Sorry that the Medical proffesion  has done this to your wife, you and family, as you no by now, It effects everyone.

    I live in Australia, I don't know where you live? but it makes a difference.

    The fact that your wifes doctor put her on them 40 years ago is a big factor, 40 years of Valium being in her system and changing the chemicles in her brain.  I can not beleive that her doctor has done this! well I can beleive it, it just IS NOT RIGHT on so many levels.  I dont no how much your wife was on but after 40 years that really does not matter anymore.  I have been battling this problem for around 7 years and have read up so much on the matter, I could write book.  40-50 years ago, even up to 5 years ago, Doctors and Shrinks were handing out Valium like lollies, it was a cure all for everything and yes it worked, as you said you had lived a relitavley normal life, a tolerance is usually formed and you need more, I don't no if that happened with your wife? from what you have said I'm assuming your wife had bad anxiety and or deppresion?  What the Doctors did not tell all of us is how addictive they are and you don't no your addicted until you have to come off.  Withdrawals are unbelievably horrid.  I really feel for her she must be going thru hell, every one is different, I went through sweating, feeling sick in stomach, inner tremours, blurred vision, shakes, paranoia, agraphobia, Severe anxiety and deppression, not being able to eat and not getting a wink of sleep, memory loss, delerium, could not talk to anyone and the first time I came off, like your wife lived in my room only coming out if absolutly had too. also had seziures. Sorry about all my spelling errors, the last time I came of these horrid little pills, I went cold turkey as after the first time of 7months with nothing, I was putting on a fake smile but dying inside and felt I'd let everyone down because i'd relapsed.  I woke up in hospital after having a 10min seziure, they had to put me out to it for 2 weeks and when they woke me, I did no who I was and where I lived etc but no recolection of what had happened or where I was or how long i'd been there.  I had to have alot of rehabilitation due to lying in a bed for 2months but after two days of walking slowly with help it came back fast, memory from when it actually all happened I still dont remember, my memory is better now.  For some reason my spelling and such i'm still working on.  I'm a secretary (can't work due to this though)so it's not like me too spell words incorrectly.  Mind you I was on more than one benzo and probably a higher dose than your wife.  If she has gone a year without any seziures etc, i doubt very much she would now, she is just still in withdrawal which can take from 6 months to 2-3 years for her to adjust.  They should never have taken her of them after this long.

    I knew I had to try to eat and excersise, be positive etc, I tried everything from Natural therapy, vitamins minerals to actupuncture, to do any of these things was an huge effort and having panic attacts all the time.  I felt I just could not live this way any longer, it was either leaving this world, which I did not want to do to my family but I also felt like I was a huge burden on them and really until you have been through it yourself you simply cant understand how bad it is, for your wife and you as he husband, depending on where you live, there are hel groups for families, to help them understand.  Many people I've talked to with my ongoing path, have told me that {Valium or any Benzodiazepam's (group of drugs Valium fall into) withdrawal is %100 worse and longer than Herion  withdrawals. 

    Re; how bad I felt the first time even though had done a clinic detox that 7 months of hell was so bad I relapsed, due to them being harder to get I went through the cycle again as you think to yourself this cant go on and on, one day I'll feel better? I did'nt.

    How did they tapper her down, was it quickly? I'm not a Doctor, just learnt so much from what I've been through and I've probably scared you by telling you all this, she may be better than I have been.  As I've said 40 years of this drug in her system, her body and brain needs huge amounts of time still on Valium and coming down extremly slowly to adjust, even then it's not pleasant.  Valium has a very high half life, which means for every 5mg tablet taken it can take up to 72 hours for that to get out of her system so it builds up and up over those 40 years. 

    I'm a passive person I went to a clinical detox, they tapper you down over about 8-9 days and keep you there for 48 hours after the last dose, they think that " now it's out of your system you'll be just fine, just all in your head" as you have experienced and probably hundreds of thousands of others all over the world, is that it's not in your head. I finally went to my specialist and said, "HEY I'm not a drug addict, i was put on this medication for anxiety and depression, not to get high and I was not told of any side effect's or addiction, Its not in my head I'm barley existing, you keep telling me they are no good for me, I no that now! but I and all others going thru this were your (the Doc's) and Medical professions test subjects, now you have found out what it does to us you just want to wipe your hands of it, and us, no responsibilty, respect taken."  I was just so mad by this stage and still am.  It's our lives they are playing with.

    I've waffled on and on, 7 sorry about that, I feel so passionate about letting people no what I have learnt.

    I also suggest to read up on anything you can regarding Benzodiazepams which is the class of drug Valium falls into.  Ashton's manual is very good. If your wife can? the more water she drinks the better, flushes the system and Vitamin B and Vitamin D very important  if she could come out of her room just to sit in the sun for 10mins a day, take it day by day, minute by minute.  Her poor mind will be racing from all the adrenalin she has built up & because she is not using her body the adrenalin can't be used up. 

    There is a world of information out there, take your time, there is so much too take in.

    I think i've bombarded you enough for today

    I really feel so upset for you your wife and familly.  RE: your doctor, No consultation, just a note, what a joke.  I would go back to that doctor, explain what is going on and how bad your wife is, lay it on the table and remind him of his DUTY OF CARE, he is responsible!  He is probably trying to cover his arse, excuse the language.  He was probably over prescribing those meds and he can have his licence taken away from him for that therfore treating you this way trying cover it up, dont't no how old your wife is but I believe in this country if you have been on them for so long and ageing they should really allow her to stay on them, would be the safest and best thing for her at this stage in her life.

    You and your wife are not alone.  I'm still going thru it, so i understand I've had a friend gave me a few to help me through other wise there is no way I'd be able to get on my computer to type to you.  Keep Faith and hope.  please feel free to get back to me, I will check in now & then, i'd like to no how your both travelling, if I can help in anyway, I would.

    Your in my thoughts Pls  Take care,    Nicola

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    • Posted

      Hi Nicola.

      Many thanks for your input. I live in Carlisle, Cumbria . England.

      I'm hoping things will look up tomorrow when wife seen by psychiatrist.

      Hope you stay well.

      Regards

      Dave M

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  • Posted

    RE: National guide lines, I'm not sure.   Ask your doc or Just start looking up National guide lines on the Internet.  If I can find them, ill let you no.  Also will depend on where you live?

    Again thoughts are with you all.  Nicola

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  • Posted

    I too have been on Valium for 44 years ...where do you live?...it seems in the UK that it depends on how much your GP knows about this drug..Nicola has said everything that I would say to you except why did you not fight the decision ?...it's your wife's body and her right to say that she is Involuntarily dependent on Vali
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  • Posted

    ..Valium..I have connection problems...I was taken off them years ago and wanted to die ...I cannot believe that your wife has been treated this way ..can you not change doctors or go privately to see a shrink ? ..she needs her life back and so does your family ...I truly feel for you ..it's my worst nightmare ....please let me know where in the world you are as my GP would not be so cruel 
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    • Posted

      Hi Pat, thanks for your response. We live in Carlisle Cumbria and I contacted the quality care commission who said it looks like our surgery made a blanket decision to stop all users. Our doctor was good and made an urgent referral to our local mental health team and said she would be seen with 48 hrs as it was urgent! 16 weeks we waited! I made a complaint and received a grovelling apology. Wife being seen by psychiatrist tomorrow. It will one year next month since they told her she was being weaned off them.!!

      Regards

      DaveM

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    • Posted

      Hi Dave,

      Hope all has gone well with the phsyciatrist.  As Jane and Pat have said, Be firm and hold your ground.  They are very wise with this matter.  You and your wife do not need to be going through this any longer.  Let us know how you go.  Wishes.  Nicola

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  • Posted

    Hi Dave..what dose was she on and how quickly did they reduce her dose?...you need to be firm ..you need your wife back 
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    • Posted

      Hi Dave ..I cannot get your wife's situation off my mind....it is beyond belief that her crutch has been taken from her..would the powers that be not allow her to go back on ,what I consider a small dose?..especially  as the ramifications of her withdrawal are apparent for them to see?please let me know how her app with the shrink went ..I too am just down the M6  from you ..kind regards ..Pat 
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  • Posted

    Hi Dave.

    I'm in the UK too, just a bit down the M6 from you :-) - I find it incomprehensible that any GP would think that a 3-4 week weaning programme would work after being on diazepan for 40 years.

    I've only been on them for a year and my GP after working with me not against me has been pretty good (my CPN was overly ambitious with an idea of a 10 day taper of 1mg per day). I'm down from 10mgs to 3mgs with propranolol to help, but my Gp has agreed to take it at my pace with any further reductions.

    I strongly suggest seeing if you can change GP'S...... Certainly having one with the knowledge of the severity of this drug would be hugely beneficial.

    Sending good wishes to you and your wife - I hope things are going as well as they can.

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    • Posted

      Spot On, CatLover, this, taking people of Valium after huge amounts of time, seems too be a issue that's going on in the UK the US as well as here in Australia.  It's really quite a MAJOR issue NOW.  I wish well to all going through this, as I imagine the amount of people affected by this would be a HUGE number.  So very sad, frustrating and dangerous.  Nicola,
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