Coping with withdrawal symptoms from benzodiazepines can often trigger the same anxiety and stressful feelings you are trying to treat with these drugs. These benzodiazepines work to regulate one’s nerve cell activity, effectively reducing excitement in nerve cells through the work of one’s GABA-A (gamma-aminobutyric acid-A) receptors.
While benzos are used to treat panic and anxiety discourses for short periods of time, many individuals to become dependent on these drugs. Someone that is taking benzos regularly for longer than four months will likely experience the symptoms of benzodiazepine withdrawal. These individuals have often been using benzos for several years as a way to avoid such withdrawal symptoms.
Withdrawal from benzos can include a variety of life-threatening symptoms that increase with intensity the longer an individual has been on the drugs.
Such symptoms include anxiety, panic attacks, sleep issues, tension, nausea, seizures, psychotic episodes, and similar conditions. These withdrawals generally last between a period of seven and 90 days, however, this is just the acute phase. Symptoms of withdrawal from benzos may even linger for several years as part of a protracted cycle. Despite this, with the right treatment, you can work through these symptoms and learn to cope with the withdrawal period.
If you’ve decided it’s time to quit benzos, don’t attempt to do this on your own—it’s important to stop taking this drug while under the care of medical experts that know about benzos withdrawal. Choosing to quit cold turkey is also never recommended as this abrupt ending can trigger the most intense withdrawal symptoms like psychotic breaks and seizures.
Coping with Benzos’ Physical Symptoms
This advice should be used in tandem with a doctor’s professional instruction. As you work through your withdrawal symptoms, it is crucial that you are under proper medical care.
Consider the following coping methods when dealing with nausea symptoms during your withdrawal from benzos:
Nausea is a common symptom you’ll feel during your detox of benzos. Fight nausea by consuming ginger root by either drinking, eating, or chewing on it. Additionally, ginger candies are a good option for handling your nausea.</li>
- Toast and Crackers
Snacking on soda crackers and dry toast can also help to ease any feelings of nausea.</li>
- Eat Light
Heavier meals can trigger nausea as they will likely upset your stomach. Eat lighter and starchy fluids like soups, potatoes, rice, and noodles. </li>
- Avoid Strong Smells
Nausea can also be triggered by strong food smells. If you can, try to avoid going near kitchens and cooking yourself. Additionally, you can reduce the smell of your own food by eating it as is at room temperature. Food that is lukewarm won’t smell as strongly as it would otherwise.
Your doctor can prescribe certain medication to treat severe nausea. If you aren’t able to keep fluids down, they can prescribe you an antiemetic like Compazine or Zofran to help you through nausea.
The following methods can help you cope with the pain associated with withdrawal from benzos:
Turmeric is similar to ginger in that it has anti-inflammatory properties. Use this spice in your food or add it to your tea. Additionally, you can also take turmeric in the form of a capsule to help treat your pain. </li>
- Devil’s Claw Root
This herb has active ingredients like harpagoside, which is useful for treating pain. Take this in the form of a capsule. If you have a relatively sensitive stomach, keep the dose low.</li>
- Caosaicin or Capsicum
This is found in chili peppers and is used to soothe sore muscles in the form of a skin cream.</li>
- Comfrey Extract
This extract comes from an herb that is used as a skin cream to treat sore areas. </li> </ul>
Coping with the Psychological Symptoms of Benzos
While benzos are used to treat anxiety and depression, this is an unfortunate symptom of withdrawal from them. Such symptoms are often what makes truly detoxing from these drugs so difficult.
The following methods can be used to cope with the psychological symptoms of withdrawal from benzos:
- Deep Breathing Exercises
Breathing exercises can be used to treat the anxiety felt during withdrawal. These exercises allow you to focus on your breathing and help to distract you from the panic. The rhythmic nature of deep breathing exercises also helps to engage your parasympathetic nervous system, which regulates your body functions as you rest.
Practice breathing in slowly, then out. Let yourself focus on the rhythm of your breaths. Your mind should be completely focused on this feeling.
Breathe in for four seconds. Hold this breath and count to seven. Breathe out for eight seconds. Keep repeating this exercise to ease your discomfort.</li>
- Animal Therapy
Animal therapy is often used to treat anxiety. If you’re a pet owner, pick up your animal and snuggle and pet them. Stroking their fur is incredibly calming and will trigger the production of oxytocin.
If you don’t have a pet, you can likely speak to your therapist about stating animal therapy. </li>
Use aromatherapy to treat your anxiety with a diffuser and your favorite essential oils. These scents have been proven to have calming effects.
Use a terra-cotta diffuser to help the oil spread through to the room around you. Alternatively, you can wear a necklace to keep these scents closer to you. Place several drops of the essential oil into the diffuser so the scent will spread throughout the day.
Detoxing from benzos is quite challenging and you should never attempt it alone. Make sure you have all the tools you need to go through the withdrawal experience by contacting a team of professionals today. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day. Call (866) 840-6411. to learn more about how to end your dependency to benzos.