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7 Worst Medication Withdrawal Symptoms During a Benzo Taper

Last Updated on September 5, 2022 by Carol Gillette

Alternative to Meds Editorial Team
Medically Reviewed by Dr Samuel Lee MD

Dealing with Symptoms from a Benzo Taper? Wanting to detox from Benzo use?

Don’t panic. Read the information below about what to expect in the process as well as common problems seen in cases of Benzo taper and withdrawal. If you have more concerns or need more information, please contact us with questions.

Why a Benzo Taper Requires Medical Supervision

benzo withdrawal treatmentsAt Alternative to Meds Center in Sedona, Arizona, we specialize in offering a safe Medication Taper process. Over the last decade, our inpatient holistic psychiatry center has assisted many people in becoming drug and medication free. We accomplish this by providing adjunctive therapies that help to correct addictive biochemistry and alleviate the symptoms of withdrawal.

Thousands of families have contacted us for support during some very difficult situations regarding medication withdrawal. While there may be many different causes of extreme symptoms, one thing is for sure, people who attempt to come off of psychiatric medications like the Benzo Xanax, will frequently experience new or more extreme symptoms. Oftentimes, severe withdrawal symptoms such as psychosis or even thoughts of self harm may result in a person being hospitalized temporarily, while given the chance to stabilize.

Our goal at Alternative to Meds Center is to help make the Benzo withdrawal process as painless as possible. Here, natural and effective holistic treatments can begin to offer a more long-term recovery. Our Center is a safer alternative to coming off of Benzos through rapid detox (3 to 7 days), and can also help someone with severe symptoms or social impairments, avoid long-term institutionalization.

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The 7 Worst Medication Withdrawal Symptoms

Some of the most difficult symptoms we have seen arise in our patients include those listed below.

1. Mania
benzo withdrawal maniaA manic episode1 would typically be diagnosed as a symptom of Bipolar disorder, or a personality disorder. However, people facing withdrawal symptoms from Benzodiazepine reduction have also displayed symptoms of mania.

A person who is suffering from mania will potentially experience problems sleeping, erratic moods, prolonged feelings of euphoria followed by a crash, racing thoughts, or even repetitive focus on goal oriented behaviors. While these symptoms may not be overwhelming for everyone, for someone experiencing these issues after a Benzo taper, or quitting Benzos cold turkey, it is a warning sign that the mental condition may worsen during the Benzo titration process. When an individual has flare ups of manic behavior during a medication taper, it is a clue that the taper process may be difficult, and require professional guidance.

At Alternative to Meds Center we believe the best chance of successfully getting off Benzos is to have a medically supervised taper plan that also factors in underlying causes found in the brain chemistry. This Benzo taper success story explains what it feels like to go through the titration process and make it through to the other side.

2. Suicidal Ideation
benzo withdrawal suicidalIt is common for someone who is having problems with Benzos to begin to question everything. The symptoms can become so debilitating and sometimes cause the sufferer to believe they will not make it through the process. Sometimes thoughts of self harm or suicidal ideations start out of the blue, leaving friends and family puzzled. Even if the individual has no history of self harm, or has never voiced the urge to end their life, the mental and physical rigors of Benzo withdrawal have been known to push someone to the edge. In any circumstance when a person is voicing ideas of self harm, a professional inpatient mental health facility will be needed in order to help the person stabilize and also remain safe from harm.

At Alternative to Meds Center, we offer a state-licensed inpatient mental health program designed to keep a person from the often traumatic experience of being in a psychiatric ward. Our upscale holistic psychiatry center located in Sedona, Arizona, offers a healthy and tranquil inpatient treatment environment combined with access to the top treatments to aid in the medication withdrawal process. Our team of professionals is available around the clock to help someone recover from the perplexing difficulties that arise during a Benzo taper. If you or a loved one are experiencing problems with thoughts of self harm, or ruminating thoughts, please contact us to make a plan of action right away.

3. Paranoia
benzo withdrawal paranoiaParanoia is a difficult symptom to deal with, especially when the individual suffering becomes paranoid about their friends, family, or treatment providers. Oftentimes, someone suffering paranoia, as a result of heightened sensitivities during Benzo withdrawal, will begin to question everything around them. Even those who are trying to help them recover, or keep them from harm, become questionable.

This situation can be difficult to manage, because many of the top inpatient treatment centers require the patient be willing to accept treatment, prior to being admitted. Sometimes, a family intervention, or a trained life coach, will be helpful in persuading the individual to become willing to get help. If at any time a person becomes a threat to themselves or others, a psychiatric evaluation should be performed locally to ensure the symptoms do not cause any damage to health or well-being of the paranoid individual.

Should assistance be needed in making a plan to help the person enter a treatment program willingly, please contact the Alternative to Meds Center admissions team for coaching and advice on how to overcome the symptoms of paranoia to make long-term rehabilitation a possibility.

4. Extreme Sensitivity
In rare cases, individuals tapering or discontinuing Benzos may experience extreme sensitivity to their environment. Typically this underlying symptom is a result of neurotoxicity, or pollutants in the environment. However, when a person is already dealing with other Benzo withdrawal symptoms, this aspect can be particularly difficult to overcome.

At Alternative to Meds Center, we incorporate philosophies of alternative medicine and environmental medicine. This helps make our treatment environment as friendly as possible to those who are very sensitive to their surroundings. While a standard inpatient mental health center may serve toxic foods, use chemical cleaning agents, and other items containing neurotoxins, our philosophy is that the individual suffering symptoms of Benzo withdrawal needs a healthy and toxin free environment to heal. Our program continues to educate attendees about the importance of living a healthier lifestyle, free from neurotoxins, and other contributors that are known to trigger these types of complex mental health symptoms. If a person is going through a Benzo taper, or adjusting their dose of Benzos, and discovers these type of sensitivities, it would be wise to look at their environment, and daily habits, in order to rule out any contributing factors.

Patients at Alternative to Meds Center are given multiple lab tests to help uncover heavy metals toxicity, genetic predispositions, and sensitivities or allergies to products, in hope of nailing down the best set of life practices for them to follow during recovery.

5. Ruminating Thoughts
When repetitive or ruminating thoughts begin, a person who is already in pain from Benzo withdrawal will often begin to believe healing is impossible. Ruminating over all of the negative symptoms and feelings will cause the individual to slowly spiral downward without seeking the proper help.

A supportive environment with the proper treatment staff to provide counseling, nutrient support, and ongoing coaching can help an individual suffering from ruminating thoughts to begin to move forward past the negative mindset they are trapped in. The worst type of example of this is when the individual’s ruminating thoughts create doubt about treatment, that causes a sort of uncomfortable indecisiveness regarding their medical care. The most important thing is that an individual suffering at this level has a solid support system or friends and family willing to help guide them using encouragement and support, towards getting real medical attention before the symptoms worsen.

6. Insomnia
benzo withdrawal insomniaOnce already in a difficult situation of dealing with Benzo side effects or Benzo withdrawal, being unable to sleep on top of it could have devastating consequences. In fact, sleeplessness in itself may lead to an onset of complicated issues like psychosis, delusions, or other serious mental health problems.

A person who notices personal sleep patterns starting to waiver, or finding it difficult sleeping in general, may consider looking at their environment and habits close to bedtime. It is well known that overuse of electronics in the evening could cause sleep disturbances. Heavy sugar intake, caffeine, or stimulation of the mind could also cause problems sleeping. But, when the issue is part of Benzo withdrawal, after a few days of inadequate sleep, a person may find their symptoms worsening to the point of needing immediate medical attention.

7. Extreme Mood Swings
benzo withdrawal mood swingsSometimes mood swings wouldn’t seem to be a big deal. However, when someone is dealing with symptoms from Benzo withdrawal, they are in a sensitive state. The consequences of their actions, and loved ones’ abilities to assist them, may lead to a need for inpatient care. A person compromised and dealing with the physical and mental states associated with acute Benzo withdrawal will need to consider placing themselves in a healthy and nurturing environment where mood swings and outbursts do not cause long-term harm. With the proper support and guidance, a person can be assisted through the moment of crisis into a more lasting recovery plan. This ensures that mood swings are mitigated through the use of proper nutrient intakes, toxin removal therapies, counseling, and medication management when needed.

Holistic Treatment for Benzo Withdrawal

While the majority of symptoms listed here are possible to handle on your own, for some individuals, life becomes so unmanageable that life at home becomes impossible. Knowing when to reach out for help is the most important aspect of ensuring long-term damage is not done during the process of coming off of Benzos. While recovery is possible through the strengthening and balancing of the brain chemistry and body systems, a person must first decide that they want to make a change in their health, and then fully dive into the lifestyle and treatment recommendations made by their care team.

At Alternative to Meds Center, we strive to help each patient achieve long-term success by providing the proper tools for care post treatment. Our educational system is designed to help those who suffer from mental health symptoms find new and healthier ways to treat and prevent symptoms. To find out more about how we help people successfully get off Benzos please check out these testimonials.

1. “What to Know About Manic Episodes” PsychCentral [cited 2021 Jun 3]

Originally Published Feb 4, 2019 by Diane Ridaeus

This content has been reviewed and approved by a licensed physician.

Dr. Samuel Lee

Dr. Samuel Lee is a board-certified psychiatrist, specializing in a spiritually-based mental health discipline and integrative approaches. He graduated with an MD at Loma Linda University School of Medicine and did a residency in psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. He has also been an inpatient adult psychiatrist at Kaweah Delta Mental Health Hospital and the primary attending geriatric psychiatrist at the Auerbach Inpatient Psychiatric Jewish Home Hospital. In addition, he served as the general adult outpatient psychiatrist at Kaiser Permanente.  He is board-certified in psychiatry and neurology and has a B.A. Magna Cum Laude in Religion from Pacific Union College. His specialty is in natural healing techniques that promote the body’s innate ability to heal itself.

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7 Worst Medication Withdrawal Symptoms During a Benzo Taper
Medical Disclaimer:
Nothing on this Website is intended to be taken as medical advice. The information provided on the website is intended to encourage, not replace, direct patient-health professional relationships. Always consult with your doctor before altering your medications. Adding nutritional supplements may alter the effect of medication. Any medication changes should be done only after proper evaluation and under medical supervision.

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