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Benzo Withdrawal

Symptoms List

Benzo withdrawal symptoms are the symptoms which appear when a person who is addicted to benzodiazepines reduces their dosage. The severity of the symptoms depends on the the rate of withdrawal, dosage the person is physically dependent on, genetic factors and a range of other factors which can vary from person to person. Benzodiazepines are one of the most physically addictive classes of drugs available which can produce severe benzo withdrawal symptoms if dosage is reduced too fast. Some benzo withdrawal symptoms may appear during chronic usage benzos even on a stable dosage due to tolerance escalation, where the body craves increasing doses to feel normal. Benzo withdrawal like symptoms may also occur as a side effect of the physical adaptions (tolerance) which occur in the central nervous system from chronic usage. This is sometimes referred to being "benzo toxic". There are different degrees of benzo toxicity, some people function normally on benzos but will likely experience severe symptoms on discontinuation of their benzodiazepines and some people deteriorate with chronic use both physically and mentally. Common "benzo toxic" benzo withdrawal symptoms include increasing cognitive impairments, anxiety problems, depression, agoraphobia, muscular and gastrointestinal problems which generally worsen if dosage is reduced too quickly.

Our organisation, The Trap requested that forum members list benzo withdrawal symptoms which they experienced. The symptoms were posted on our benzo withdrawal forum and assembled in the below table. Many of the severe symptoms experienced described were the result of people who discontinued benzodiazepines too quickly, so the reader should not be put off discontinuing benzodiazepines based on some of the more frightening symptoms but should rather be put off discontinuing benzodiazepines too rapidly. The table below is quite unique in that it is entirely generated by self reporting by individuals rather than an outside observer such as a doctor or psychologist deciding what is what and what is not a withdrawal symptom. We feel that only the individual knows how they felt before the drug and how they feel during withdrawal and thus the individual is the best judge of what is a withdrawal symptom and what is not.

Benzo withdrawal symptoms table.

The following table lists symptoms generated by our forum members and posted on our benzo withdrawal forum.

Mood
Aggression, Anger, Agoraphobia, Agitation, Akathisia, Anxiety, Apathy, Anhedonia (inability to experience pleasure), Crying and feeling weepy, Deep depression, Despair, Dysphoria, Extreme dispassion, Fear, Fear of dying, Fear of losing control and going insane, Fearing symptoms are not withdrawal, Fearing that you will never get better, Fear of life, Fear that symptoms are permanent, Feeling emotional, Feeling frightened, Feeling hopeless, Feeling like jumping out of skin, Feeling that the world is about to cave in on you, Frustration, Gittery, Gloom and doom, Inability to appreciate humour and laugh, Inability to feel emotions, Inability to feel joy, Inability to feel pleasure, Internal feeling of anxiety with no corresponding external cause, Irrational fears, Irrational rage, Irritability, Lonliness, Low mood, Nervousness, No feelings of fun or laughter, Obsessive thoughts, Overwhelmed feeling, Rapid mood fluctuations, Sensitive feelings, Severe negative looping thoughts, Sudden sadness, Terror, Void of normal emotions
Mental status
Difficulty in distracting oneself, Feeling disconnected, Feeling drugged, Feeling freaked out, Feeling like a zombie, Feeling like being on a bad LSD acid trip, Feeling numb, Feeling scared, Feeling that you're just going crazy, Feeling traumatised, Feeling unreal, Getting worried over small things, Hallucinations, Horrid visions, Hypomania, Images and songs keep repeating in mind, Inability to relax or sit still, Intrusive thoughts, Jumpiness, Loss of sense of identity, Misperceptions, Morbid thoughts, Morning madness, Not knowing who you are, Obsessive and compulsive thinking (OCD), Overwhelming feeling that you are going to die, Pacing, Panic attacks, Paranoia, Racing thoughts, Reduced stress tolerance, Suicide attempts, Suicidal thoughts, Thinking you are mentally ill, Unwarranted feelings of guilt, Visual hallucinations, Vivid dreams, Weird thinking, Wired feeling
Eyes and ears
Bloodshot eyes, Blurry vision, Dark-dim vision upon exertion or sunlight, Difficulty seeing, Drooped eyelids, Dry eyes, Eye twitching, Flashes of light in the eyes, Fuzzy eyes, Glassy eyes, Impaired vision, Occasional right eye pain, Pressure in the inner ear and outer ear, Red burning eyes, Sore eyes, Swollen eyes, Tearing eyes, Uncontrolled eye movement, Visual distortions preceding a migraine
Behavioural
Constant need to be occupied, Avoiding friends and people, Inability to occupy oneself
Cardiovascular
Chest pains, Fast heartbeat, Heart palpitations, Heart pounding, Low blood pressure, Premature ventricular contractions (irregular heart beats), Pulsating all over my body(also visable), Pulse thudding, Racing heart, Severe pain chest, Skipping heart beats, Tightness in chest
Visual perceptual
Derealisation, Depersonalisation, Distortion of body image, Feeling like legs and arms are not attached to body
Psychotic symptoms
Auditory hallucinations, Catatonic episodes, Compulsive suicidal ideation, Confusion, Delusional thinking, Disorientation, Formication (sensation that I had fleas/spiders crawling over me)
Cognitive symptoms
Can't do tasks like make food, Difficulty reading, Difficulty thinking, Forgetting names of family members, Hard time with words, Impaired cognitive skills, Impaired communication skills, Inability to focus, Inability to function, Inability to learn, Jumbled thoughts, Lack of concentration, Memory and comprehension problems, Poor judgement, Poor memory, Short-term memory problems, Slow thinking processes, Spaciness
Muscular
All muscles moving, All muscle tone feels flacid, Body feels twisted, Cranial tightness (felt my head was decompressing), Difficulty walking due to weakness and shaking, Face spasms, Inner tension, Inner vibrations, Jaw clenching (can't open or close mouth properly due to the spasms and pain), Jaw Spasms, Legs and arms shake, Muscle twitching, Muscle spasms, Rigidness and jerks, Muscle aches, Muscle cramping, Muscle tension, Muscle wasting, Muscle weakness (especially in the legs, arms and hands), Jelly legs, Restless legs, Stiff arms and legs, Stiff muscles, Stiffness in back, Teeth chattering, Tension in neck, Tight achy muscles, Tight jaw and temple, Tight head, Tight muscles in left leg, Tight muscles in neck and shoulders, Trembling and shaking, Tremors, Weakness, "jelly legs"
Nerves
All nerves firing off, Ankles reflexes diminished
Eyes and vision
Eye fluttering and twitching, Eye pain, Pain in eyes
Bone
Skeletal aches
Joints
Joint pain
Urinary
Difficulty urinating
Gastrointestinal
Bloating, Constipation, Choking, Diarrhea, Dry heaving, Fast and fine vibrations of the stomach, Gas, Knot in stomach, Loss of appetite and weight loss, Malabsorption, Nausea and vomiting, Severe pain in stomach, Slow heart rate, Swelling-bloating, Tachycardia, Weight gain
Mouth
Acid reflux, Dental pain (tooth pain), Dry mouth, Sore tongue, Metallic taste, Sore gums, Sore mouth, Too much saliva
Pain
Abdominal pain, Aching pain in legs, Bladder ache, Body aches, Headaches, Jaw pain, Lower back pain, Muscle and joint pain, Nail Pain, Neck pain, Nerve pain (hitting non-specific areas of the body randomly, but for short bursts), Pain in hands and feet, Pain in previous surgical sites, Severe bone pain, Severe head pain, Sore tongue and throat, Stinging pain, Teeth pain (felt like I had braces on), Throbbing pains, Throbbing legs, Waves of pain
Respiratory
Breathlessness, Chest discomfort and tightness, Difficulty breathing, Hyperventilation (overbreathing), Shallow breathing
Sensitivity
Chemical sensitivity, Cold extremities, Creepy crawlies on hands and arms, Feel cold even in hot weather, Food sensitivity, Intolerance to cold and heat, Intolerance to music, Photosensitivity, Sensitive to music, Sensitive to loud noises, Sensitive to light and stress, Sensitivity to smells, Very cold especially hands and feet
Sensorary
Brain nerve pain, Burning feet and legs, Buzzing throughout body, Chills, "Electric shock" sensations, Electric static shooting around body, Food doesn't have much taste, Head sensations, Heavy sensation in forehead and eyes, Heightened sense of smell, Hypersensitivity to light, Hypersensitivity to odors, Hypersensitivity to sound, Hypersensitivity to stimuli, Intense burning head/brain, Intense burning scalp, Intense burning spine, Itchy head and face, Numbness and tingling in face, Numbness and tingling in feet, Numbness and tingling in hands, Numb area on bottom of left foot, Numbness in arms, Numbness in face and left side, Numbness in fingers, Numbness in head, Numb right foot, Numbness in lip and tongue, Pins and needles, Sensory disruption, Soapy taste in mouth, Stabbing pains in limbs, Tingling on scalp, Tinnitus
Skin
Burning patches, Chapped skin, Cold sweats, Dermatographism, Dry itchy skin, Eyebrow loss, Feeling hot, Hair loss, Hives, Itching and stinging from head to toe, Itching sensation under my skin, Lashes falling out, Night sweats, Rashes, Rash under brows, Skin sensitivity, Sweating, Tingling skin, Very oily skin and hair
Sleep
Anxiety dreams, Frequent awakenings during the night, Horrific nightmares, Hypnagogic hallucinations, Jolts that wake you up, Lack of deep sleep, Poor sleep, Rebound REM sleep, Severe insomnia and tiredness, Sleep paralysis, Twilight sleep, Waking early, Weird dreams
CNS Other
Adrenaline jolts, Brain fog, Dizzy, Frozen feeling (like I need to get up and do something but can't do the action), Hypervigilence about symptoms, Impaired vigilance, Increased nicotine craving, Lack of energy, Lack of motivation, Light-headedness (especially when I stand too quickly), Loss of balance, Loss of sex drive, Mental and physical exhaustion, Migraine headaches, Pounding in my head, Pressure in head, Pulsating in right temporal area especially upon exertion, Restlessness, Room spinning, Seizures, Severe fatigue, Thirst, Vertigo, Voice weak
Immune system
Fevers, New allergies, Ulcers in mouth, Worsening of allergies
Female
Irregular Menstrual Cycle
Body
Feeling as if been punched in gut and chest, Feeling heavy legged, Feeling unwell, Flu like symptoms, General malaise, Going from hot and sweaty to cold and clammy, Hot and cold flushing, Increased number and severity of infections, Severe body pain, Water Retention
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