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Valium (Diazepam) Withdrawal Symptoms: How Long To Fully Recover?

Valium (Diazepam) is a drug that is prescribed to help people cope with severe anxiety. This is not a drug that is prescribed for simple stress and typical anxiety – most people that are on it have severe cases of anxiety and/or panic attacks. This drug has also been used to help treat “delirium tremens” or shakes associated with alcohol withdrawal. In other cases, Valium is used to help with muscle spasms, inflammation, nerve disorders, and seizures.

This drug is in the benzodiazepine class of drugs, which work on the GABA receptors in the brain. It is GABA that is involved in slowing down nerve signals throughout the brain. Essentially this drug increases the amount of GABA activity, which slows down the nervous system and provides relief from severe anxiety and panic. Although many people have been put on Valium and other benzodiazepines to help treat their condition, many individuals do not like being on them for the long term.

Long term treatment with benzodiazepines can result in memory loss and various studies have found that these drugs can actually lead to the development of dementia. The fact that they are linked to developing permanent diseases like dementia lead many individuals to withdraw. Additionally, it is very easy to develop a tolerance and become dependent on this drug for everyday functioning.

Factors that influence Valium withdrawal

The withdrawal from Valium is influenced by various factors including: time span, dosage, whether you quit cold turkey or tapered, your individual physiology, and whether you have developed a tolerance or dependency on this drug.  It is a combination of these factors that causes individuals to have different experiences during withdrawal.

1. Time Span

How long have you been taking Valium? Was it for a few months to help with symptoms of alcohol withdrawal? Or have you been taking it for years as a means to cope with anxiety? Generally the longer you have been taking a benzodiazepine drug, the greater your level of tolerance will be and the more dependent you will become on the drug for everyday functioning.

2. Dosage + Frequency + Subtype

Dosage: How much Valium are you taking? The greater the dose that you have been taking, the more difficult and lengthy your withdrawal process is likely to be. Higher doses of Valium are associated with greater tolerance and dependency.

Frequency: How often do you take Valium? In the event that you are taking a high dose very often, it is important to recognize the fact that your withdrawal will likely be pretty severe compared to someone who takes a low dose on an “as-needed” basis.

Subtype: It is important to understand the subtype of the Valium that you are taking. Individuals that take the “extended-release” type of the drug are more accustomed to having the drug in their system for long periods of time. People that take the regular tablets on an “as needed” basis are thought to have an easier time during withdrawal. This is because people who take tablets “as needed” tend to have drug-free periods of treatment.

3. Cold Turkey vs. Tapering

It is never recommended to quit a powerful psychiatric medication cold turkey. Benzodiazepines are considered some of the most difficult drugs to withdraw from. Many people attempt withdrawal and discover that the withdrawal symptoms are so severe that they cannot function. It is always recommended to work with your doctor and conduct a very gradual taper. There have been cases of people trying to quit and

4. Addiction / Tolerance / Dependency

Due to the potency of this drug, it has potential for abuse. A lot of people turn to Valium for recreational use as a means to relax. After using it for an extended period of time, they become addicted and don’t know how to function without it. In the same regard, people who are using it to treat anxiety disorders and/or that become dependent on this drug to manage symptoms, tend to have a difficult time coping with the withdrawal.

Using this drug consistently can lead to a quick “tolerance” – meaning you need to take more of the drug for the desired effect. If you are addicted, have a high tolerance, and/or are dependent on Valium, this can lead to a very difficult withdrawal.

5. Individual Factors

Many individual factors will play a role in determining how well the withdrawal process goes. If you are in a stressful environment without any sort of social support, guidance, etc. – the process may be tougher. Additionally, if you are a person who is very sensitive to withdrawal from medications, you are likely going to have a very difficult time coping with the experience coming off of Valium. Other individual factors that are thought to play a subtle role include: sleep, diet, exercise, and socialization.

Valium Withdrawal Symptoms: List of Possibilities

Below are some of the common withdrawal symptoms that you may experience when you stop taking Valium. Keep in mind that your reaction may be different than someone else’s. In other words, you may experience a couple symptoms, nothing much, or more symptoms than are even included below.

  • Anxiety: Due to the fact that Valium helps people manage anxiety while on the drug, coming off of it can lead to significant spikes in anxiety. This is because the GABA system is no longer receiving the same level of activation that it received while you took Valium.
  • Concentration problems: It is very common to have problem with cognitive function when you stop taking a benzodiazepine. Your thinking may feel slowed and you may notice that you can’t concentrate on anything. Keep in mind that your focus should improve the longer you are off the drug.
  • Depersonalization: Many people feel depersonalized when they withdraw from benzodiazepines. This involves feeling unlike your natural self or feeling as if you are a zombie. Usually depersonalization is caused by changes in brain activity, neurotransmitters, and stress.
  • Depression: Although it is common to experience increases in depression while taking Valium, some people experience even stronger depression when they stop taking this drug. The depression when you come off of this drug may be more associated with elevations in anxiety.
  • Dizziness: A common withdrawal symptom from any drug is that of dizziness. Your brain is attempting to readjust to functioning without the GABA stimulation that Valium had provided. If you withdraw too quickly, the dizziness may be more extreme than necessary.
  • Fatigue: It is common to feel tired, lethargic, or fatigued when you stop taking this drug. Your energy levels may feel lower than average for awhile until normal neurotransmission is established. Don’t be surprised if your energy levels are low for a few weeks during withdrawal.
  • Headaches: Another very common symptom that people endure when quitting Valium is headaches. These may range in severity from being mild headaches to feeling as though you have a migraine.
  • Hypersensitivity: During withdrawal you may be hypersensitive to sights and sounds. In other words, loud noises may drive you crazy and sights may seem too bright. This has to do more with brain activity than it does with your eyes and ears.
  • Insomnia: Many people take this drug to help them relax so that they can fall asleep at night. When they stop taking it, they experience a high degree of insomnia. This insomnia is a result of insufficient GABA activity.
  • Irritability: Since being on Valium helps people calm down and manage aggression, coming off of it can lead to major increases in irritability. You may feel irritable for weeks, and it may be difficult to manage because you no longer have the calming effect of the drug.
  • Memory problems: It is well documented that taking a benzodiazepine drug can lead to permanent memory impairment. Although this is more common in people that take the drug daily at higher doses, it can happen to anyone. Do not be surprised if your memory is affected for awhile after stopping the drug.
  • Mood swings: You may notice that you are subject to mood swings when you withdraw. This is usually a result of feeling increases in anxiety and not being able to properly manage it. You may feel as if you have no control over what is happening in your brain and it may be frustrating.
  • Nausea: It is common to feel nauseated during withdrawal.  The nausea will likely not be too severe if you take the time to gradually “taper” off of this medication.  However, withdrawing too quickly could lead to nausea to the point of vomiting.
  • Obsessive thoughts: If you were taking Valium to help with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) or obsessive thinking, those obsessive thoughts are going to come back strong when you quit taking it. Any drug that you take to treat OCD may actually result in increased OCD when you stop it.
  • Panic attacks: This is a medication given to people to help with severe panic. It is highly effective at treating panic attacks, but when the person stops taking it, they may notice an increase in panic. It is the disruption in GABA as a result of taking this drug that leads a person to panic.
  • Seizures: Withdrawing too quickly from a higher dose of Valium can lead to seizures. For this reason, it is highly important that you conduct a gradual taper. Never quit cold turkey or you will run this risk.
  • Sleeping changes: You will likely notice changes in your sleeping patterns when you stop taking this drug. You may sleep excessively or you may not be able to sleep at all. Everyone is affected differently when they stop taking this drug.
  • Suicidal thoughts: Some people experience such a deep depression during withdrawal that it drives them to think about suicide. Suicidal thoughts can make life a living hell and can make even a few days seem like years. If you are feeling suicidal, recognize that it’s part of the withdrawal, but do not hesitate to seek out further help to manage them.
  • Sweating: Many people experience profuse sweating throughout the day and/or during sleep. Night sweats are extremely common, and are one of your body’s natural ways of detoxifying itself from the drug.
  • Weakness: It is common to experience muscle weakness or overall weakness throughout the body during the first few days of withdrawal. Your normal strength will return once you have been off of the drug for a decent amount of time.

Valium Withdrawal Duration: How Long Does It Last?

There is really no set timeline for Valium withdrawal. For some people the symptoms may last for a few weeks and then completely subside. For other individuals, the post-acute withdrawal symptoms may persist for months after their last dose of this drug. There is really no telling how you may be affected by withdrawal unless you go through with it.

Keep in mind that someone who is on a higher dose of this drug is likely going to have a much longer withdrawal (considering the taper) than someone who takes a smaller dose. It will take your body and brain awhile to reset themselves back to homeostasis (e.g. pre-Valium functioning). In general it is recommended to engage in mentally and physically healthy activities when coming off of the drug to help speed up recovery.

Healthy things that you can do for yourself include: getting plenty of sleep, staying as busy as possible, relaxation exercises, light exercise, and eating good foods. By giving your body and brain healthy stimulation, you will be setting yourself up for success. If you need further help and support during withdrawal, be sure to check out some forums and/or consider going to see a therapist so that you can talk about what you are experiencing.

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{ 33 comments… add one }
  • victor September 26, 2018, 9:31 am

    I have been on Valium for about 2 years. 2mg (which it’s the minimum small pill) 1 time at night, every night. If I forget to take it, I could fall asleep but just for a couple of hours, after that I will be awake for the whole night and overthinking, next morning will be hell.

    Headaches, weakness, dizziness, kind of depress, anxious… JUST BECAUSE I FORGOT 2MG ONE NIGHT. I am crying for help of how to withdrawal from this evil drug that my #@#$%#^$ “therapist” gave to me just for normal anxiety.

    What he was thinking?! I got passion flower tablets and I would like to know if this could help with the withdrawals. Also how difficult and terrible could be to withdrawal from 2mg? Step by step I mean. Please help! Thanks!

  • Sierra March 28, 2018, 7:22 pm

    Four months ago my doctor cut me off of my Valium (5mg 2x a day) for vertigo. Granted I was using it for anxiety but I know now that he should have never taken me off cold turkey without a titration!!! Since then I have been plagued with horrible anxiety, suicidal thoughts that landed me in three different psych units, and pretty much all of the side effects listed!!!

    I even have this weird out of body feeling all day long, my eyes are severely sensitive to light and I see floaters everywhere! I have lost everything and I feel I’m about to lose my family if I don’t get my sh-t together! The anxiety and out of body feeling is intolerable! What should I do???

  • Rod July 7, 2016, 10:18 am

    This has been a complete nightmare!!! A coworker offered me some valium when I mentioned I was dealing with some depression/anxiety. I should have thrown it the hell out after the first pill gave me a headache, but stupidly I took it again three weeks later and I felt relaxed. At first my Dr wouldn’t prescribe it and instead put me on a combo of meds that seemed to work in the past except this time I was prescribed a generic med and they are NOT the same and I should’ve stopped it after the first week.

    I was in a relationship with a controlling person and it wasn’t good. My Dr was a complete idiot and would leave people on meds forever…after being on valium for over two years I started getting tinnitus and after reading about how valium can cause tinnitus can be caused by valium (Neil Bauman I believe) I tapered off after another month without telling anyone. I was okay for about two weeks and then the withdrawal kicked in like hell.

    I went to my Dr and told him my anxiety was through the roof and he didn’t even ask about the valium (it was the only thing I was on at this point). He prescribed me alprazolam which caused me to feel depressed and suicidal as soon as the pill would wear off. I went to see him one day because at this time I was off work because of the horrible anxiety and I was just going to touch base because I was going out of town and wasn’t able to make the next appt. Long story short his receptionist substitute was a senile woman and I was just going to go as a walk in that morning and the senile woman phoned me back just before I was leaving and left a message that there really was a noon appt and I should’ve never phoned back and ignored it.

    Being a retard I phoned back and the senile lady kept trying to get me to take the appt and I eventually did. When I got there the door was locked and she just stared at me from her office forgetting she had given me the appt. I finally rang the doorbell and after Dr let me in I said the receptionist was going senile and my Dr became very rude (the guy was a self proclaimed Irish jerk) I told him I was feeling rough. Without asking me a single question he prescribed a dangerous combo of meds that I should NEVER had goddammit taken.

    I have no idea why I took them later that day (the alprazolam was wearing off and the withdrawals were making me feel sh#tty) and after two days I told my fiancee the pills were making me sick). She had anger, control and manipulation issues and she demanded I keep taking them. We were on vacation and I didn’t want anymore silent treatment so I took them and two weeks later suffered brain, kidney, muscle and nerve damage so bad I should’ve ended my life the very next day.

    I stopped all of my meds cold turkey and told my Dr that I nearly died and that I stopped all of my meds and he never mentioned I would go through severe withdrawal from the 4 weeks of alprazolam. I went completely crazy with withdrawals and my Dr put me back on valium but it wasn’t a high enough dosage to make up for the alprazolam and I spent 40k trying to heal the damage and ended up planning my death just over a year later. My fiancee (the one that demanded I keep taking the meds) would scream at me everyday in the most awful voice you ever heard and she started acting like a complete a-hole that she was and treated me like a piece of sh#t that she was.

    She refused to help me. She threatened break up if I sued the Dr (my therapist said I should sue the Dr!). She was a complete a-hole like you wouldn’t believe. My Dr ended up admitting it was his fault and later tried to cover up his mistake by rewriting his notes and I was livid. Safeway pharmacy told me they never checked for interactions and the hospital made a fake triage report trying to cover up the fact they never took my situation seriously.

    My life is ruined and sorry for the long post. Dr’s are idiots and try to cover for each other when a colleague screws someone up. I’ve lost everything, big pharma and the FDA should be drawn and quartered for ruining people’s lives with this garbage that pharmacies dispense.

    • a guy July 22, 2016, 3:02 pm

      Hi, I felt the same way, I am six months into a valium taper. I went from 15 Mg to 2.25 mg as of today, and I still have at least another 8 months to go. I am doing a SLOW taper of 1% per day. I made a spread sheet in excel and it calculates how much I should taper each day. I have followed the schedule and have not had much problems.

      I tried to quit twice before by cutting pills in half, but you can’t do that. You need to cut the pills into 20 pieces to taper properly. More than 1% a day is too much. 10% a week is too much if you do it all in one day.

      • HSim August 20, 2016, 8:55 pm

        Hi, how are you cutting into 20 pieces? I can manage 8 pieces with a sharp knife. Currently on 0.25 mg and have been for 7 weeks so planned to try and cut that up a bit more for. Few weeks (which will be like 1/16th of a tablet). Not terribly accurate – each piece may end up slightly bigger one night and smaller the next night but that seemed best way. I don’t think I could get 20 pieces.

  • John June 5, 2016, 10:31 pm

    I am in month #18 of withdrawals from 10 mg valium 2x a day over a 4 year period. I finally had a breakthrough 3 weeks ago and awoke for the first time from this living nightmare with a clear head. I, for one, cannot believe I haven’t taken my own life by now. My life is a complete wreck because of this medication, all because my forward head posture, the actual reason for my ailment to begin with, was misdiagnosed as anxiety!!!

    The VA doctor that put me on this medication should be in prison for what was done to me, and what continues to plague me. I guess I am not one of the lucky ones to get my life back after only a month or two of misery. I have suffered almost every symptom listed as a protracted withdrawal side effect for benzodiazepines.

    The worst part is that everyone thinks I am making this all up, doctors included. I have lost many years of my life, all of my friends, my job, my house, and could not finish my last year of college to receive my Bachelor’s degree. There is no justice!!!

    • Stephan Kuhar September 11, 2016, 12:43 pm

      Dear John, I am so happy for you that after 18 months of a “never ending nightmare” you have finally returned to your senses. My son has a similar valium situation and is in his 12th month of withdrawal. It’s been hell to pay in so many ways. He too will awake. Both of you will have your life back. What doesn’t kill us will make us stronger. Remember that your loved ones have suffered terribly alongside you too. Best, Stephan & Luka.

    • tom May 11, 2018, 10:37 pm

      I tapered from 10mg 4x day to 10mg then cold turkeyed, this is after 22 years. I found it insanely hard in the beginning and soon as I got to 10mg, knowing the dangers fully well I jumped ship. I’m extremely irritable, no appetite, nausea, panic attacks triggered by disassociation symptoms when I try going out [I don’t], etc.

      Was prescribed for panic/generalized anxiety, and one thing I’ll tell you guys from this horrible experience is a LOT of it is psychological. Exercise, nutrition and trying to get out are VERY important. But we want everything “in a pill”… Joy, sleepiness, pain relief.

      You’ll get back to normal, it just seems hopeless when one day you wake up and realize the storm is blowing over. I tapered clonazepam a long time ago and had to reinstate but switched to valium [idiot]. The longer half life makes the withdrawal stretch out more than a short acting benzo like alprazolam or lorazepam.

      There IS life without pills, we just gotta be patient and let our nervous systems heal back, hang in there. Plus the whole getting used to dealing with stress naturally. I definitely wouldn’t recommend doing cold turkey, I didn’t have a choice. The only things helping right now are Cannabis, Kava, GABA amino acids and codeine or oxycodone for the body pains/migraines/diarrhea.

      I call myself “the symptom collector” haha, see it’s not THAT bad. I could be getting shot at and dodging bombs while dying of cancer. To HELL with pills. Best wishes to everyone, take it one day at a time. If my post helps/motivates at least ONE person I’m happy. Take care, Peace!

  • Denise June 1, 2016, 2:07 am

    I appreciate your comments on Benzo withdrawal from Valium for about 9 years. Prescribed for muscle spasms during two back to back neck fusions. Prolonged use with pain management for thoracic spine deterioration which surgery is not recommended. At first FNP removed me cold turkey and in three weeks severe withdrawal.

    Insomnia, Nausea, Headaches, Appetite Loss, Severe Fatigue. Pain Management Physician saw I was in Benzo withdrawal and had been cold turkey. Immediately, I was back on Valium until I felt withdrawal disappeared and back to normal feeling. Then approximately two months started a tapered withdrawal over 3 months from 10mg.

    Now, at 3 weeks after last 2 mg taper am having same withdrawal symptoms. It does help to read your posts. I am evidentially sensitive to these drugs according to my physician. The headaches, nausea, stomach pain, weakness, fatigue are all frustrating. Hoping this will subside soon.

  • Pete B March 29, 2016, 3:50 pm

    DID IT! From at least 20 mgs diaz per day WITH alcohol to nothing. Used diaz for over many, many years (daily) and drank on top. It WAS NOT easy but I’m alive and functioning. What I went through: Hypersensitive; lock jaw; muscle ache (constant); heavy sweats; thinking I was mad; sickness; confusion; random weird thoughts; dizziness; stomach aches, sleep deprivation (for up to 5 days at a time without sleep); irrational speech; weight gain; constant thirst;… and more.

    Recommend: If possible taper off not stop. Find a comfortable place and settle in. Be aware that its going to take a while (it took me over 4 months but I was a long term user). If you can keep a final ‘hit’. Only one… and keep it til the madness kicks in. Don’t take anything such as uppers, hash, booze or hard gear. It will make things worse. (I know). Speak to a Doc if possible; get a few (2 or 3) sleeping pills. Good luck.

    • Gail September 13, 2016, 1:06 pm

      Well done, Pete!!! :D

    • tom May 11, 2018, 11:00 pm

      I know this comes down to everyone’s varied biochemistry, but medical weed has been a godsend for me, but that’s ME. BUT it can turn around and trigger a BIG panic attack if ya don’t go slow.

      I use the “2 toke rule” 2 puffs wait 2 mins, gauge how you are, re-dose if needed. As with anything don’t overdo it. I totally agree with the rest of your suggestions, good lookin’ out!

  • Mary February 26, 2016, 5:14 am

    Hi! It’s Mary again and I am now on day 26 withdrawing from valium. Saw my pain specialist again today. He said I should feel better in a few days. The Clonidine and Zophran he prescribed are an amazing help. I don’t think I would have gotten this far without them. They are not expensive meds either for those who pay cash.

    I’m drinking lots of water, eating fruit, and eating whatever I have a taste for, which is limited. No I don’t have a really good appetite and lost 10 lbs. through all of this but that’s a plus! The worst time of day for me is in the morning. I never know what kind of day it will be. Today I felt good enough to see the doctor but felt overloaded with the sights and sounds of being out.

    Hypersensitivity is what they call it. Still have drenching sweats, tremors, ringing in my ears, fatigue, and high anxiety but improving every day. What bothers me the most is this out of body experience, similar to like a dissociative feeling. I would love to know if anyone else has felt that way. Please let me know asap because it’s really bothering me a lot.

    I hope I’ve encouraged someone out there to give up the benzodiazepines. It is difficult but it definitely can be done, especially with Clonidine to take the edge off. I hope I helped someone who’s going through the same thing. Would like to get a reply. Thanks.

    • Michellethebelle July 28, 2016, 8:08 pm

      Hang in there. Your post is encouraging. Day 15 and I am going through very much what you did.

      • Gail September 13, 2016, 1:01 pm

        Thanks for your post and yes… hang in there! It gets better but I totally relate to the out of body experience. I am six months post valium and still have days where I talk and act like a total zombie!

    • Rebecca Freeman January 3, 2017, 5:11 am

      I’m on day 10 of cold turkey Valium withdrawal. I’ve been on various Benzos for about 3 years this time around. I tried tapering, but I’m an addict… It doesn’t work for me lol. I’m going through a lot of hell, but I’m determined to finally get off this sh-t. I’m glad I’m not the only one, and I wish everyone blessings for getting off this roller coaster!

  • Mary February 24, 2016, 5:14 am

    Withdrawing from valium after about 20 years of benzodiazepines. I have peripheral neuropathy in my legs & the valium would help with the muscle cramps and also vertigo associated with this autoimmune disorder. My pain doctor prescribed methadone for my neuropathy but didn’t tell me how badly it would interact with the valium so I ended up overdosing and spending three days in the hospital.

    I was lucky I was found in time. But neither the doctor, pharmacy, or hospital told me that I need to withdraw from valium slowly. They just told me never to take them together at all. So I hope I save someone from doing what I unknowingly did. Secondly, my pain doctor prescribed Clonidine which is mostly used to lower high blood pressure, but by slowing down the heart rate it also reduces anxiety.

    Truthfully I am on day 23 into my withdrawal and I could not have made it this far without the Clonidine. He also prescribed Zofran for the nausea which helps too. He told me I should be done with these bad withdrawal symptoms within a week. I pray I am. Good Luck.

  • Debbera Neilson February 17, 2016, 12:16 am

    I have been on a slow taper off Valium since, August, and it hasn’t been too bad until now. I have tapered down from 20 mg a day, and at times I would take 40 Mg, and now I am down to one 5 mg at night, and I am having panic attacks during the day, and insomnia several days during the week. I had a knee replacement in November, 2015, and I am also trying to taper off pain meds.

    I have been on, and off Norco for a few years, and consistently for 2 years. This is not easy. I take care of my 95 year old mother too, who doesn’t walk, and it is stressful, and I have not had my own life really since, about 2008, when I started caring for both of my parents. My father died 3 years in January 2013. I am 62 years old, and have no idea what I will do when my mom is gone.

    I have no money. I just filed for early Social Security, but it isn’t going to be much. I was a hairdresser for 40 years, and have no more savings left. I am very depressed, and I really would rather not get off this drug, but I know I need to.

    • Junkie from tennessee February 22, 2016, 12:50 am

      Everyone needs to. I thought I’d die without it. In week three of no valium and I can laugh, see it through. You CAN AND YOU WILL. I don’t know why they prescribe these for longer than 2 or 3 days. Quitting cocaine is easier.

  • Liz February 14, 2016, 4:36 am

    I am horrified to find myself in withdrawal from benzo. I have taken antidpresants for more than 15 years and switching drugs was hard enough. I was given Xanax to help with anxiety ‘as needed’. I used it, never noticed any problems but then thought was having opposite effect because I was getting more anxious in between uses.

    I thought, like antidepressants, it had too short of a half life which caused the symptoms (I changed to Prozac again for the longer half life with goal to taper off.). I couldn’t dose down, got side effects big time so went back to 40 mg still was very anxious though so I asked doc for Valium thinking longer half life will be better… not!!! I also switched my meds to lower dose of prozac and started Wellbutrin to counter complete loss of libido.

    So now I think I’m withdrawing from both Prozac and Valium and is not good. Body aches, headaches, vertigo, nausea, wretching, memory problems, ick! I only took 7.5 mg Valium once or twice a week for about a month. It’s been a week since last Valium and 2 since switched other meds. My body does not react well to any of this stuff. I took 2.5 mg Valium earlier in day to try to mitigate symptoms…

    Helped for a short while. I don’t know if I should take another 2.5 mg at this time. I was planning to take 5 tomorrow to not quit cold turkey as I seem to have pretty nasty symptoms already… I feel so trapped in medicine hell. It sucks.

  • longtermcoldturkey November 13, 2015, 10:48 pm

    I’m on about the third week of diaz withdrawal; having used it initially to come off alcohol but stupidly continued its use for over a decade. This is the first time in my adult life I am not on either alcohol, diazepam or both (plus the crap I hoovered up my nose, smoked etc. since mid teens.

    My age is now 44. Coming on 100… or so it feels at the moment.

    But that will pass; at some point. It’s a matter of choice, and I choose to be in reality.. tricky though it is.

    To help others, bear this in mind. The longer you use, the harder it is. I’m long-term but coping. Yes there are some pretty mad symptoms (quite literally mad) but they are in your mind mostly… and pass. Concentrate on relaxing; watch TV, read, do Sudoku or Crosswords. Yes I feel totally dissociated, confused, tight jaw, tinnitus, spasms, little to no sleep and I’m doing this alone. You can do it too.

    • Junkie from tennessee February 20, 2016, 7:54 pm

      I’m 40 and just about in the same boat. Today is day 15 with no valium. I was in a detox for 11 days from 30mg per day. I was dependent on this drug also for over a decade, I was “self medicating”, like I had been prescribed the drug, and coincidentally I used to use coke too, with valium to come down. We’ll I am pleasantly surprised that I can function! Having used for years, and reading about withdrawal symptoms, I decided to just keep using.

      Bad move, I really wished I had quit years ago. In inpatient I dropped 25 pounds in a week because I just couldn’t eat. And I lost every bit of muscle I had. Now I eat like a mad man, and I workout when my body will let me. Now the point I would make us never to quit cold turkey, and please check yourself into a rehab facility!

      No one can do this alone, I have the best support system ever, and I couldn’t imagine going through all this without them. I’ve tried the 12 step programs, but in my city they are more a b*tch and whine meeting place for addicts who ignore new members and people who relapse. No one believed me until I took one of my family members with me earlier today and we left early because of all the drama.

      Just be true to yourself and keep in mind that one day you’ll be brand new. I do have days where everything seems to be alright and I cherish those, then there are days that suck, (not unlike being sober).

      • Pete B March 29, 2016, 4:06 pm

        Well done Tennessee. Newcastle, England here… think I’m finished with the withdrawal now. Sure I am. Need to get healthy though.

  • LittleSleep October 26, 2015, 11:59 am

    I am in the middle of withdrawal from Valium. It effects sleep ability for sure. I have no trouble falling asleep but wake in 3 – 4 hours whether I fall asleep at 8pm or stay awake til 11 pm at night. Constant sense of stress and hopelessness thoughts, I have a hard time functioning work and lifestyle wise. I realize it is all in the mind to begin with so I am gritting my teeth and letting my system normalize again.

    I only drink decaf coffee now that is starting to help and just have started trying melatonin supplement before bed time, it is helping a bit to fall asleep, doing things to build mental toughness also helps, I hope this is over with soon is all I have to say. I probably used the med for the wrong reasons to relax and was taking the 10mg dose, more than two a day.

    I am getting better slowly but surely but I can tell you it does not feel good! Hope my comments help someone. Hang in there.

    • Pete November 13, 2015, 10:51 pm

      Hi, I’m in recovery (the middle of) and pretty messed up. How long did you do Diaz for? Looking for maybe a support group but don’t want to see a GP as the record on my files will cease any possible future employment.

      • Gail September 13, 2016, 12:54 pm

        Hi there. I am 6 months off Valium, codeine and painkillers and the valium withdrawals nearly killed me! I never knew such hell existed. I truly sympathize with anyone else going through this. Even now, I still get muscle spasms and cramps, problems with my thought process, memory loss and problems with my throat.

        It is more discomfort now rather than the agony I went through after cold turkey in detox and for about 2 months afterwards but I sure as hell with it would go away now and I can just get back to feeling like ME!! I would love to be in touch with others who are also battling this devil – please leave a message here if you would like to get in contact. I would also love to start a support group on Facebook. I will leave a message here if I do :)

        • Lynette November 18, 2016, 4:10 am

          Hello Gail, I would be interested in discussing valium withdrawal with you. I am 2 months out after quitting cold turkey and yes, it is pure hell. I had taken valium daily for about 10 years. No one around me can even begin to understand so to be in contact with someone who does would be great. Just having someone tell me that it does get better will give me some hope. Lynette

          • Mary December 3, 2016, 12:33 am

            I had no idea what I got myself into. Did some pretty stupid things and decided I needed to make a change. At first it was once in awhile and them it became pretty regular and then I would add alcohol as well. Scared that I was going to hurt or kill myself I stopped cold turkey. It was a nightmare. I had no idea I would have withdraw symptoms. I did get back on it and plan on doing the tapering method. Kudos to everyone who was able to stop cold turkey. I was such a mess. Headaches were the worst!!!

        • Mari December 10, 2016, 10:10 am

          Gail, I would be willing to discuss Valium withdrawal with you. It’s been 4 months since I tapered off and am still feeling strange. I don’t feel like myself anymore and I find it so distressing.

  • Narinder January 22, 2015, 2:24 pm

    I started taking Alprazolam .25mg in 2001 and gradually increased up to 1mg daily at bedtime for sleeping and my neck muscle spasm. It helped me in overcoming these problems but I became totally dependent on the drug. I thought of getting rid of it and consulted a doctor. I was told to switch over to Valium 10mg daily (initially) and to reduce the dose by 1mg fortnightly. I started with Valium 10 mg on 15 Jan 2010 and by Nov 10 stopped taking it. I was OK until Jan 2011 when I started having pain and numbness in my left leg which used to be during night.

    This continued and in April I started having palpitations which were so severe; as if my heart were going to come out of my chest. I consulted a doctor and was told that these are withdrawal symptoms of Valium. I again started with Valium 2mg daily in April 2011 and reduced the dose to 1 mg daily in June 2011 and continued with it since then. In between I tried to stop it but could not.

    • bob February 5, 2016, 2:23 pm

      Haha you said “fortnightly,” LOL, funny stuff.

      • Aylay April 1, 2016, 11:38 am

        What the? Are you being serious? What’s funny…

        • boqishafelicia July 2, 2016, 4:50 pm

          What the? So you have no sense of humor? Like at all? Is it a disease? Like do you breathe oxygen? Like oh my.

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