How long is it taking everyone to regain cognitive function after withdrawing from prescription benzodiazepines such as Valium and Clonazepam?
It took me 2 years after I stopped taking clonazepam to have the neurotransmitters reconnect, to the point where I could problem solve again. (I am still not back to 100% brain function, as I am on Lyrica and that is causing horrible memory problems and a feeling of being emotionally disconnected). There is a great feed on this site on Lyrica and memory problems.
The benzodiazepines even affected my eating habits, as I was a vegetarian for 30 years, and on clonazepam for nerve pain, I no longer could stand vegetables. This was better than the Valium...as I could not eat anything on that medication, and all I wanted to do was throw up if I smelled any food at all.
On Valium, I could not walk, speak or eat and went down to 102lbs from 115lbs. Benzodiazapines flipped my brain upside down, and put me on autopilot, unaware of my surroundings. I did and said things I would never have done prior to taking any medications. I was only on 5mg of Valium and after 2 months it almost killed me so they switched me to clonazepam. When you have severe burning and electric shocks from pudendal neuralgia, you have to take something to get you to sleep, so it was a double-edged sword.
I read in the Aston Manuel that it can take up to '12 months or more" for cognitive function to return, after stopping benzodiazepine use. So two years for someone that has been on them since 2006 to 2014 (except for when I was on the Valium) and who is sensitive to all medications, does not seem to be so strange to me. After the first year and a half is when I saw the first glimmer of my brain returning, but 2 years to really recognize myself.
I have also read patients testimonies that say they have taken 2 years also. The British National Formulary says "Withdrawal symptoms for long-term users usually resolves within 6-18 months of the last dose." That is a year and a half, and again that is close to the two years it took me. I am still not thinking straight but I think it is the Lyrica and Lexapro I am still on, for pudendal nerve pain. I have the memory of a gnat. My slow withdraw from clonazepam was sheer hell, however my side effects were severe emotional and cognitive turmoil as opposed to physical manifestations and I was terrified to be alone.
There are no studies that say it can take up to two years to regain cognitive function, as I have been researching like mad. Why aren't doctors picking up where Professor Ashton left off and studying how long it takes for our brains to function again? There are a lot of doctors that are shocked when I tell them that it took me so long and yet the patient testimonies can say 1 1/2 to 2 years. I just want the research to mirror that. Please tell me if it took you 2 years too. Thanks and my heart goes out to everyone that is on any of these amazing sites that let us share info.
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